In Some Ways, Publishing Is Unchanged

I was reading a quote I posted several years ago. I think it's still true about traditional publishing.

I also think the situation described in this quotation is why so many authors embraced indie self-publishing.

"There can hardly be a stranger commodity in the world than books. Printed by people who don't understand them; sold by people who don't understand them; bound, criticized and read by people who don't understand them; and now even written by people who don't understand them." —Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

Who Was Lichtenberg?

He wasn't a modern man. He was born in 1742 and grew up to teach physics, mathematics, astronomy, and other subjects. He did research in many fields: geophysics, volcanology, meteorology, chemistry, astronomy, and mathematics to name a few.

Primarily, he's remembered for his work in physics. His only true scientific discovery though was related to electricity. In 1777, he found that discharges of static electricity formed patterns in bits of dust.

Those patterns were called Lichtenberg figures and were of no use to him, but they became the basic principle used in modern photocopying machines.

He's also remembered for thousands of pithy sayings. Actually, I think he's remembered more for his creative witticisms since he's considered a mere footnote in scientific history.

Takeaway Truth

I find it a bit comforting someone a few hundred years ago felt the same way writers often felt about publishers.

Then ebook technology came along and changed things.

No comments:

Post a Comment