Monday, July 22, 2019

Too Many Books?


I follow a blog on photography. It recently had a post about how digital photography is ruining art photography. There are too many pictures being posted, mostly about mundane things, and that has devalued the world of art photography.

Is it the same for publishing? Has self-publishing just made it too easy and flooded the market with too many books? I recently saw (and posted) about ads I saw for formatting: $27 for an ebook, $48 for a printed book. (I will not do formatting at those prices.) As I predicted, it has gotten so easy to take a document in Word and turn it into a book that I suspect even more books will be published every day (currently the number is estimated to be around 6,000 books every single day - traditional + self-published). This isn't a print vs ebook rant either - both formats are being flooded.

Below  are some lines from the photography post. Do you think the world of writing has suffered from the same problem?
Each and every year we take over one trillion photos, collectively. That’s 160 photos per year for everyone alive on the third rock from the sun. This number is expected to grow by 100 billion photos every year too. That’s just insane. Cameras and photography are accessible to billions of people in every corner of the planet, but the ability to overindulge in what used to be an art form that was not as easy to access has had some negative effects. 
The digital age has enabled us to take photos of literally everything. But in the process of photography becoming so accessible it has cheapened the value of the art. Most people in this world really do not care about images, and most people do not value photography or the power of a photograph. 
People just don’t care as much about digital images as they do about physical prints.
We can bring back the value of photography by shooting with intent, with purpose, by creating new unique images, and by making every click of the shutter count.”

Read the entire article!

2 comments:

Roger E. Breisch said...

Kevin, I agree. Something about value has been lost. I get asked all the time about publishing a second book, or starting a podcast. It feels as if the world needs a bit more "silence" instead of more noise.

Michele Kelly said...

There was a time in history when only the scholars could read and write. I wonder, given the topic we are discussing here, if they too felt the flood of literature when education and, thus, writing and creating became accessible to the masses. And so generational differences race to the top. Now we have podcasts and bloggers and YouTubers who outdistance mainstream media like the Wall Street Journal and nightly news. Authors too, as you point out, are multiplying in our midst. Is it good? Is it bad? I was once asked if the younger generation has ruined it for books because their screen time has traded places with the art of reading. My answer to this was that the younger generation may be the greatest of all storytellers. They live story like they breathe. Too many books? I think it is good when people have a voice. Imagine all the people who will leave this world having told their story. To me, that is rather a beautiful thing.