YOGS Law & The New Money Flow In Publishing – Mark Barrett Article on Ditchwalk

Occasionally you read something which really strikes home. Even less often, someone comes along with a fresh outlook on a long debated publishing issue. For someone who had never heard of YOGS Law (in publishing – money flows towards the author), Mark Barrett over on Ditchwalk has produced, certainly for me, one of the most insightful and outstanding articles of the year on YOGS law, its meaning, relevance, and what he describes as its fallacy.

“At its most basic, however, publishing is not a question of maxims or appraisals or even authorial merit. It’s a question of cash money. Which brings me to my criticism of Yog’s Law, my criticism of the industry for exploiting Yog’s Law, and my general exhaustion with the idea that all the bad people are on the outside of the publishing industry and all the good people are on the inside praying to Daniel Webster. Because nothing about Yog’s Law deals with the fact that a pay-you-later publisher can screw authors as effectively as a pay-us-now subsidy or vanity publisher.

To begin, it’s worth noting that Yog’s Law fits quite nicely with the publishing industry’s own propaganda of love and reverence for books and authors. ‘Look,’ the publishing industry says, ‘we’re not taking money up front! We’re gambling on you because we believe in you! We have faith in you! We’re not like those scummy people who ask for money in advance!’”
You can read the full article, entitled, ‘The New Money Flow’ here.

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