It’s Their Fault – Not Mine! I Was In The McCloud Morrison!


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In light of recent articles and debates here and elsewhere on the state of publishing, the rise of self-publishing and social media as a marketing tool, I came across this interview featuring Scottish author Ewan Morrison talking with Andrew Keen from Techcrunch some weeks after last year’s Edinburugh Book Festival. Since Morrison’s decry last year about the potential death of the modern book and author, and his series of articles this year in the Guardian UK on the detrimental impact of self-publishing; the inadequacies of social media marketing; and how ebook pricing is devaluing the quality of literature; Morrison has certainly emerged as one of the strongest voices on the traditional side of publishing.
I’m all for revised thinking, and while publishers should embrace the opportunities which come with digital development in the industry, it also provides the tools and challenge to rediscover the value authors and readers once had in publishers as curators and champions of literature rather than the providers of content for market sake.
I suspect the same desire is buried somewhere in the mist of McCloud Morrison, but he really doesn’t do himself any favours by not providing any answers of substance when he insists on publicly passing blame to everyone without ever examining his own position in the convoluted universe he so casually presents.
For McCloud Morrison, it’s a case of being everbody’s fault but mine.
It’s Amazon’s fault for creating a digital squeeze.
It’s Publishers’ fault for cutting back on advances.
It’s the Internet’s fault for facilitation.
It’s Consumers’ fault for expecting ‘culture for free’.
It’s Writers’ fault for becoming ‘desperate’ and ‘getting taken in’ by online platforms and ‘dumping publishers’.
It’s America’s fault for giving us ‘value capital over culture’.
Even poor Andrew Keen couldn’t find an optimistic note to finish on when he visited Planet morrison!

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