Author Topic: “There’s More Than One Way to Ban a Book” - New York Times  (Read 259 times)


In the face of ideology-driven pressure campaigns, “publishers have adopted a defensive crouch, taking pre-emptive measures to avoid controversy and criticism….scuttling a project for ideological reasons before a deal is signed, or defusing or eliminating ‘sensitive’ material in the course of editing….Even when a potentially controversial book does find its way into print, other gatekeepers in the book world — the literary press, librarians, independent bookstores — may not review, acquire or sell it, limiting the book’s ability to succeed in the marketplace….It is certainly true that not every book deserves to be published. But those decisions should be based on the quality of a book as judged by editors and publishers, not in response to a threatened, perceived or real political litmus test. The heart of publishing lies in taking risks, not avoiding them….”

Pardon, but isn’t the answer to this problem indie publishing?  Something not mentioned in this narrow article.

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Re: “There’s More Than One Way to Ban a Book” - New York Times
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2022, 12:23:29 PM »
The answer is, yes, indie publishing. For good or for ill.

I suggest it's overwhelmingly good. It provides freedom and opportunity to find a marketplace for things that might otherwise be blocked, cancelled, downplayed, or ignored.

This is not a left/right stance. Far left, far right, and everybody in between gets an equal shot, as long as they meet TOS. Despite whining from some about being censored or cancelled, Amazon and others have been remarkably light-handed in prohibiting material--mostly limiting prohibitions to things that are legally indefensible and might invite serious lawsuits.

It ain't perfect, but it's far better than trying to go through the gatekeepers.

Never listen to people with no skin in the game.

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Re: “There’s More Than One Way to Ban a Book” - New York Times
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2022, 02:56:43 AM »
Yes and no.

Yes, an author can indie-publish the book instead. But unless that author already has a platform, they still have to rely on gatekeepers. These people aren't gatekeeping publishing but they are gatekeeping access to readers. Influencers, bloggers, etc. Not to mention FB and Amazon, if they wish to run ads on either platform.