A few days ago I spotted a link on Twitter to an article by Joanne Harris on the Illegal downloading of e-books and the consequences to the Publishing industry as a result of loss of sales.
The article can be read at the above link but you need to copy and paste, as I'm not capable of creating a hyperlink.
It got me thinking after I'd read it, not just about the illegal downloading that is the main reason for Joanne Harris's article but also about how we all come by books without actively buying a new copy.
Are we all in our own way guilty of causing some of the redundancies that are occurring? Most of us won't be guilty of illegal downloading of e-books but I bet most of us at some point will have passed on books to others, bought from charity shops or other outlets that aren't proper bookshops. Most of us will also at some point bought books from the Supermarket too. All of these will also be the cause of the decline in book sales and there will be other reasons that I have not mentioned above.
E-books whether they be Kindle or other variations will also be a major contributory factor.
Perhaps we readers are getting slightly disillusioned with the books on offer to us from Publishers as they often only print the books that they think will sell and only choose to use Authors with a proven track record of sales.
The increased popularity of e-books allows the reader to have access to books at any time of the day or nght at the click of a button. It also allows Authors who have been struggling to get their work published to self-publish their work themselves. Personally I can only think that self-publishing is a good thing as one of my favourite Authors Linda Gillard was dropped by her Publisher, as they found it hard to make her work fit into a specific genre, but with the chance to self-publish she took advantage of the opportunity and has been able to let her readers have the opportunity to read her work, which we would not have been able to do several years ago.
Linda Gillard will not be the only Author who has benefitted from the introduction of self-publishing. Self- publishing also gives the Author more control of all aspects of the publishing production, which can only be a good thing too.
So while I do not condone the illegal downloading of books, I personally do not think that it is the only factor causing damage to the Publishing Industry through job redundancies.