Moby Lives

Is the book biz about to undergo the problems of the music biz? . . .

December 20, 2004
Penny Johnson

While the heads of some of New York’s biggest publishers, such as Simon & Schuster and Random House, are “crowing” in year end reports about having had very successful years—as a Crain’s report by Matthew Flamm notes—one Internet commentator says the publishing business is about to run into some of the same snares that the music industry has been run into. Umair Haque, in a commentary at Bubblegeneration.com, says, “Most of the publishing industry is complicit of the same kind of moral hazard that the music industry’s been. They foist dumbed-down authors on an audience that deserves better, because their hit-driven business model is basically a vicious circle of rising marketing costs and winner-take-all markets … the publishing industry is living on borrowed time.”

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Penny Johnson is the author of Companions in Conflict, published by Melville House in February 2019
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