Friday, August 30, 2019

The World of Writing Is Not Immune to the Laws of Supply & Demand

I read this recently on Brevity. As I said in an earlier post - there are too many books. There are too many writers. There are too many other options to amuse us: YouTube, Instagram, the whole darn internet. As the supply increases, assuming the demand remains constant, the price drops. It's not rocket science. The audience for short work in literary fiction and poetry is small anyway. Throw in a whole bunch of free options and it's no wonder people, even other writers, will stop paying for what they can get for free elsewhere.
“But the massive proliferation of literary journals online has, among other things, diluted the meaning of publication to the degree that we’ve clung to pre-digital hierarchies as a defense against chaos. 
Despite our market-expressed preference for disruptive digital technologies, we still trust The New Yorker, Ploughshares, The Paris Review, Granta and handful of other top-tier publications to tell us who is writing the most important, must-read work today. (There are notable all-digital exceptions to this rule, of course. You’re reading this diatribe on the Brevity blog, after all.) The important difference now, though, is that we don’t want to pay for access to that information, which is one of the reasons why journals like Tin House, Glimmer Train, and The Normal School, to name only a few recent (and painful) examples, are closing up the print-issue shop. 
The audience for literary journals is predominantly made up of writers. We can quibble over the reasons, but the cold, hard truth is that writers have decided that they don’t want to pay for access to literary journals.”
Read the entire article.

What does the picture of the best cat ever have to do with this post? Absolutely nothing. I miss him still.


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