Saturday, 19 August 2017

Cheap Food = Cheap Alcohol = ?

With more than two months to go before Philip Pullman’s long-awaited new novel from the world of His Dark Materials is published, pre-orders have sent La Belle Sauvage flying up bestseller lists.
But with booksellers already slashing the cover price in half, the award-winning author has spoken out about how cheap books devalue the experience of reading, and called for an end to the “pernicious” doctrine of “market fundamentalism” if literary culture is to survive.
Well, seems the answer is 'cheap books'.

Wait.Seriously?
“It’s easy to think that readers gain a great deal by being able to buy books cheaply. But if a price is unrealistically cheap, it can damage the author’s reputation (or brand, as we say now), and lead to the impression that books are a cheap commodity and reading is an experience that’s not worth very much.”
Maybe it isn't? There's thousands upon thousands of available books. They can't all be best sellers.

Maybe some are the equivalent of junk food, some the equivalent of cheap plonk. Isn't it up to the consumer to decide which is which?
He suggested the government should coordinate a search for new ways of working, involving representatives from across the book trade.
Oh. Of course. Leave it to the government, they'll sort it out!
Pullman said that he was “not blaming any one of the parties involved in the book trade in particular” for the current situation, because “I want the whole trade to prosper”. Instead, he looked to “a simple villain – the doctrine of market fundamentalism, that the market knows best, and that a free market is the best of all possible states”.
Maybe you're right, Phil, 'ol son...

*cancels pre-order of Pullman's new book on Amazon*

That feels better!

8 comments:

Dr Evil said...

Market forces decide which books are best sellers and which are dross. It has nothing to do with government.

Anonymous said...

Market forces are also a bit like the laws of physics, the government tries to distort them but they seem to be immutable. Any article can only ever be worth what someone is prepared to pay for it no matter what the government does. That also applies to Mr. Pullman's books.

Stonyground

Longrider said...

Write a good story and people will want to read it. Write dross and they won't. Simple enough. What would he like us to do? Get government to mandate that we buy and read his novels?

Michael said...

Perhaps Mr Pullman could write something which appeals to more readers.

I got to about page forty, then decided to read a proper story, not an 'adult' version of Winnie the Pooh meets The Hobbit and Rupert Bear on stilts.

But then, I'm a charlatan, and don't read The Guardian either.

Pcar said...

"He suggested the government should coordinate a search for new ways of working, involving representatives from across the book trade."

What Pullman wants is the return of the NBA* price uk.

Once he achieves that he will demand sale of second-hand books must also be regulated with minimum price and a royalty tax applied.

Result: fewer books sold, publishers go bust, author numbers dwindle and Pullman earns less.

Pullman - typical idiot socialist.

.
* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_Book_Agreement

ivan said...

Never heard of him (maybe his books are too expensive for me to bother looking at) so I looked him up. Appears to be a bit of a wanker that is too full of himself.

Some how I don't think he is very good at economics and can't work out it is better to sell 400 books at £1 rather than 40 at £5.

Greencoat said...

Pullman’s books aren’t the equivalent of junk food. Junk food is tasty and filling. Pullman's books are just junk.

JuliaM said...

"Market forces decide which books are best sellers and which are dross. It has nothing to do with government."

Which is why it works so well!

"What would he like us to do? Get government to mandate that we buy and read his novels?"

I suspect so!

"Pullman - typical idiot socialist."

Like so many authors. Stephen King being another example.