I just turned off the tube after watching Roxana Robinson on Bloomberg voicing her thoughts on the current battle between Hachette and Amazon. Her comments made it clear she is clueless about the concerns of the 99% of real writers toiling out here in the hinterlands. Recent statements by Scott Turow and the Guild, combined with her obvious weakness as a representative of writers' interests, brings the whole issue to the fore once again.
When are we writers going to finally create an organization that truly represents us? Millions of people just watched the same interview on Bloomberg and will come away with the impression that our interests are aligned with the mammoth, corporate owned, New York houses. Who speaks for us? Who represents us, who is not in any way married to antique New York based publishing and its corporate masters?
For the 99% of working writers, those of us who aren't deriving the benefits of membership in the New York club, no one gives voice to our concerns on the Bloomberg's of the world. Ms. Robinson clearly had little understanding of the vital issues at stake for us. Except for her lack of articulation and understanding of the issues, she might as well have been a spokesperson for a PR firm under contract with big publishing. She might be a great individual--I don't know her--but her heart and mind are in the wrong place.
Where is the rallying point for so many writers who want to get and keep a fair share of the pie? Billions are at stake in the years ahead. If someone would spearhead a new writers organization--a true Writers Guild--thousands upon thousands of writers like me would join and contribute. So many of us have toiled in the trenches for so long, we would love to tune in to a major news show and see someone who actually represents us.
Otherwise, we will be left in the dust, once again, our futures determined by people who have no genuine understanding of what books and authors mean to the world as a whole.
I refute the notion that books are no different than soft drinks or tires, mere commodities for a throwaway culture. I refute the notion that writers are no more than factory workers. I refute the notion that New York publishing is the big leagues, and we are Class D farm teams. The great thinkers of the world should at least have the opportunity to earn as much as factory workers.
Will someone who has the means and spine please lead the way? I, for one, will support you all the way.