The effect this is about to have on the book culture is gruesome. Many small publishers live month to month as it is, and many bank on the holiday season to make it through the rest of the year. Small and indy publishers are valuable for culture and speech, essential in the face of corporate information distribution and represent the foundations of diversity within communications media. When they start dropping out, you better bet readers will feel it, and notice. Imagine a Good Vibrations with only books from Harper Collins in it, or a world without Cleis Press.
And us authors — well those of us who have chosen the path of indy publishing because it’s something we believe in and (most importantly) can say what we want to, even if the money is small change — we’re fucked. I get royalty payments, as do others: it’s the same calculations, none of us are getting the money from our book sales for the last four months. I pay rent month to month; I have just lost a third of my income, and hope that my publisher will recover. I’m out at least four months of rent, boom. Right now I’m not sure what I’m going to do.
8 January 2007