Ok, so real life is yanking my chain. I have one mysteriously dead vehicle (the frankencar, alas), a friend’s one I am trying to revive, and another I am trying to get ready for roadworthy. I love spending my time on vehicles (which I understand poorly at best, but work on from necessity.) As usual I am trying to have at least one semi-reliable vehicle available for ambulance call-outs.
Added to this: I have our genius petty officials at our local council somehow concluding that translocated houses (inevitably old) are magically new build (not the new stumps, the whole thing), and therefore subject to their inspection to match current standards. Yes, you did understand that clearly. A clear impossibility. This means a multi-million dollar, ecologically conservative business… is completely non-viable. They rely on fact that they’re picking on some small guy in the middle of nowhere, and you dare not complain, or they simply make the process even more unpleasant, so this does not become a public precedent. This of course is very much how the publishing industry worked: no one ever knew how others were being treated, quite how their books were distributed, or marketed, or even just how many sold.
It was a hell-system to work in, and only could work when there were no alternatives – very much like our local government. You have to fight your way through a council/publisher somewhere. This one may be worse than the next one, or not. But while everyone was to afraid to speak up about abuses — the abuses continued. And because power corrupts abuses got worse.
When an alternative did arrive – self publishing, and publishers, disdainful at first became increasingly shrill about the fact that no-one kept their secrets any more, and of course they were quality and the bestest evah, and self pubbed books were rubbish, and the fact that their market share was dropping was just unrelated. Taking measures to become competitive would seem logical. But so far, no sign. They’d rather see their organization go bust, than surrender power. Humans survive extreme conditions like cold water, by shutting blood-flow down the extremities, and conserving the core parts (the brain is last to lose support, fingers and toes first. And likewise we’ve seen publishing, as things get tighter, more of they consider ‘extremities’ (not what you and I consider extremities, necessarily – things like small, profitable ‘midlisters) get cut off from blood-flow. I expect – as this recession bites, the various small councils – like the one I am in, get their blood-flow constricted too. The interesting question is whether any of them learn, become competitive, turn their backs on the old practices. Myself, I doubt it.
Anyway, we find ourselves with our own problems. There is no point in supporting traditional publishing any way that is not convenient to you. There is a real benefit in supporting indy.