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The Publishing Revolution Is Here

April 28, 2011 | Old School | New York City

With DW Gibson, David-Dephy Gogibedashvili, Chad W. Post, Anna Moschovakis,  and Eugene Ostashevsky; moderated by Joshua Furst

Authors today are fighting corporate censorship, homogeneity, and formulaic plotlines by defecting from big publishers to go D.I.Y. In the digital age, publishing has undergone a metamorphosis. With breakthroughs in e-books and print-on-demand, distribution is readily available to more individuals and organizations. This working session examines how these changes affect the relationship between publisher and author, literature’s impact on culture, community building between readers, writers, publishers, and booksellers—and how these roles are now merging. Panelists include members of the Mischief + Mayhem publishing collective, “the book industry’s new danger brigade” (The New York Observer) and Open Letter Books.

The following statement was issued by participants at the conclusion of this workshop.

In an age of abundance, price is driven to zero. What is the role of the publisher in this new context?

• A publisher has an individual vision.
• A publisher is a connecting point between an infinite amount of material and the individual who wants a specific thing.
• A publisher is a community-builder, a creator of a public.

In order to succeed, a publisher needs to experiment with new, flexible models. A publisher needs to view production and distribution of literature as a sustainable enterprise, as a way for writers and editors—and the communities that support and sustain them—to live in the world.

[See a transcription of notes from the workshop]
 

PEN BLOGS

Chad Post: As part of PEN World Voice’s first “Working Day,” Anna Moschovakis of Ugly Duckling Presse, DW Gibson of Mischief + Mayhem, David-Dephy Gogibedashvili, Sergio Chejfec, Eugene Ostashevsky, Jon Fine from Amazon.com, and myself all got together to talk about the forthcoming/ongoing “publishing revolution.” [More]

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