Erosion of gatekeepers
A merger and an acquisition in the US, both likely to be formalised in the second quarter, have the capacity to move the goalposts in English language publishing worldwide. It’s making writers antsy and when they think it through, readers may not be ecstatic either. Publishing companies and booksellers, the gatekeepers of the world of books, who compete financially, are trying to form monopolies in order to lean on each other harder. And two important stakeholders in book publishing, writers and readers, primary producers and consumers, feature only as interested bystanders in this arm-wrestling match. It’s almost enough to make them want to join hands and cut out the middlemen.