Endangered Lofties

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Wachtell thinks “long-form” texts are vitally important because “for centuries have been the primary vehiclethrough which creative, illuminating, controversial, and important ideas have been communicated.” She is absolutely 100 percent correct! Books are the world’s database. Everything that we know about this Earth has been written in a book at some point for the sole purpose of preserving the knowledge and information.

The challenge that “lofties” propose for publishers is that they take so much work to create. Wachtell describes how much hard work and effort the author and the publisher must put into a long form text. The author and oublisher must be on the same page about everything including multiple rounds of editing both style and grammar alike. This much work put into a book can turn out to be quite an expense which is the dilemma for making them into ebooks. Watchell is terrified that the revenue an ebook will bring will not match its counterpart the printed book. The reason for this is that companies such as Amazon are not willing to pay as much for them because they can publish it much cheaper than the old printed book. Watchell fears that the job of an author is at risk at this point.

I don’t see why the publishing companies would not pay the authors the same amount if not more for a work since they could publish it easier and at a lesser expense. I fell that both parties would benefit from this solution.



Abby's picture

I feel there's a component of

I feel there's a component of instant gratification in the threat to lofties. Because of our exposure to so many digital files online, we tend to think that anything digital should be immediate. The problem with the publishing process is the time. It takes a long time even once an author relinquishes a book to a publisher. Sometimes, the new ideas are dated by the time the book is available. I think that publishers need to look into a faster turn around time with publishing any form of text. I also wonder if they should allow for downloaded installments of chapters as they are finalized and developed, much like if you purchase a the entire season of a TV show halfway through the season. Once the episodes become available, they automatically download.

chelsiemess's picture

I definitely agree that the

I definitely agree that the lofty has dominated history and knowledge for centuries. I wonder, though, what alternate types of text have also contributed to cultural discourse. The concepts behind "new media" aren't necessarily new, although the technology has changed. So, what are these old forms of new media that may have worked alongside the long-form text? Did the lofties dominate because they were stronger or simply in the right place at the right time?