The new publishing-industry must-read
Clay Shirky at his best. So many of these themes are familiar to me after years trying to get publishers behind distributed print-on-demand. I love this especially, Shirky on the physical and geographic barriers to book access that used to beset publishing:
"…given recent technology, those barriers could be lowered. Demand can now create supply, in the form of ebooks and print on demand. This turns books into a different sort of commodity. No book need ever be out of stock, or out of print, anywhere in the world. It used to be that if you were OK with people in Podunk having inferior access to books than people in Brooklyn, you were just a realist about the difficulties of making and shipping physical stuff. Now if you’re OK with that, you’re kind of an asshole. In the twenty-first century, not being able to correctly stock or distribute a product whose main ingredient is information suggests a degree of technical and managerial incompetence indistinguishable from active malice."