“Endless Demand” For “Transformational” Bullshit

The Stupid. It hurts so much.

First, from an egress-pusher I won’t even link to, comes this absolute crap about there being “endless demand” for eBooks.


Tell me, Mr. Egress Pusher, how many classics have you read lately? Tell me the last title by Balzac, Hugo, Dostoyevsky, Baudelaire, or Nerval you have read.

Unlike yours, their works are truly immortal.

Yet where are they on any bestseller charts today? And show me the ones you’ve read lately.

Where is that “endless demand” you bray about?

The truth is this: People will always want to read but that doesn’t mean they will always want to read you.

You can stay in print for infinity-plus-one — which is the promise of eBooks — but that counts for nothing if no one wants to read you.

So stop misleading people like that.

The second Stupid comes from the bloated dinosaur maw of Len Riggio, the guy who hates to use his own product, the Nook.

This was reported as escaping from his yap:

Len Riggio said the industry is on the cusp of “transformational growth” led by the sale of digital content, and he urged publishers to produce different kinds of e-books ranging from novellas to books that can be updated. He said it was wrong to view bookselling and publishing as a “zero sum game” in which the only way to grow is to grab market share, with a limit to the number of books people will buy.

What the hell is this guy talking about, novellas that can be updated? Does he even know what the hell a novella is?

Once a story is told, that’s it. It shouldn’t require “updating.” (And, yes, I’m against writers who take their old work and “update” them to include transient modern crap. What you wrote was a product of its time. Leave it there!)

And he’s the last one to preach against a “zero sum game” when that’s exactly the strategy he’s used by slathering a mutant DRM over his eBooks so he can lock in his customers to his hardware.

This is the kind of stuff that assaults me daily on the Internet.

There seems to be no “end” to the “transformational” stupidity.

reposted with permission from Mike Cane’s Xblog


  1. JulieB11 March, 2011

    Mike, I think Riggio means novellas … and books that can be updated. Two separate things. He ought to check out Amazon sometime, if he thinks epublishing novellas is a new thing. 😉

    But yes, the idea of works that can be updated is intriguing, as long as there’s some sort of version tracking in place. I’d hate to grab a reference work and have an update pushed automagically that pretty much negates any research I’ve been using it for.

  2. Meredith Greene11 March, 2011

    Hilarious piece, but oh so apropos. How sad that folks are in a frenzy to “update” ‘Huckleberry Finn’. Now that’s a classic.


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