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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Is the Great Debate asking the Wrong Question?

posted by Saul

Publishing Point's Susan Danzinger recently posted a video of this past spring's "Great Debate" at the London Book Fair. Having not attended, this was a good chance for me to see and hear first hand what has increasingly been driving a wedge in the literary community over the past several months. I'd already gotten the basic gist of the discussion from other sources, but I was curious to hear, in its entirety, the debate based on the inciteful premise: “Publishers in the digital age will be irrelevant.”
Or put another way: "All that will matter is the writer and the reader."

The panelists comprised of four experts. Two advocates for the "resolution": Cory Doctorow, bestselling author, blogger, and Publishers Weekly columnist; and London-based tech author and publisher James Bridle. Arguing against the resolution: Richard Charkin, executive director of Bloomsbury Publishing; and Andrew Franklin, publisher and managing director of Profile Books.

First of all, what is a publisher?