The Publishing Industry Is (Still) Dying According to the Voice Actor Behind Odin on Disney’s “Hercules” Cartoon Show (Not the Movie)
by Salvatore Pane
It seems that every few months some old white guy has to comment about the end of literary journals or the publishing industry. One of my first posts on this blog mentioned just such an article and gave copious examples of why this is simply not true. But who needs examples or those pesky little things called facts and statistics? Garrison Keillor, a contributor to The New Yorker and host of some Minnesota radio show, wrote an op-ed today in The New York Times about how the publishing industry “is about to slide into the sea.” His reasoning for this? Well, as far as I can tell his daughter really likes the internet and he got invited to a Tribeca publishing party filled with “authors and agents and editors and elegant young women in little black dresses” (I guess “elegant young women in little (?) black dresses” can’t be authors, agents or editors).
Nothing infuriates me more than this type of article. Keillor never gives us any facts or stats to back up any of his opinions; he just makes vague allusions to the internet, Barack Obama, self-publishing and Amazon. Then he ends on, predictably, a story about what he literally refers to as “the Old Era” (his caps not mine). Keillor wistfully tell us, “I am an author who used to type a book manuscript on a manual typewriter. Yes, I did. And mailed it to a New York publisher in a big manila envelope with actual postage stamps on it.”
Holy fucking shit! A typewriter! If only I could introduce him to just about every hipster I know (they almost all have typewriter collections). And a manila envelope?! Wow. I can’t even believe it. The difference between that and an e-mail is light years apart. I mean, they’re not even remotely the same. Because one is in a manila envelope and one is not. Wow.
And of course, every young writer in the nation took turns swiping Keillor over Twitter. So many joined in the fray that Flavorwire actually posted a round-up citing Maud Newton and Colleen Lindsay (follow her twitter; she’s pretty funny) among others. The fact that this rallied the troops within a few hours of the op-ed obviously proves Keillor’s point that nobody cares about books anymore and authors are doomed to make “$1.75” for the rest of their lives.