Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Would Book Debates Draw A Crowd?

I like that there are so many televised debates of the presidential candidates – and that people are watching them.  Sure the political season is too long and done way too far in advance of the national election, but still, the notion that our leaders discuss major ideas, issues, and problems and engage in dialogues to bring about solutions is a good thing.  I wish there’d be such debates by authors and those in the publishing industry, and I wish such debates would be televised nationally and widely reported by the media.

·         How far should we go with the First Amendment?
·         Will e-books replace printed books?
·         Should Amazon open up physical stores?
·         Who is the best author of our time?
·         Should publishers change how they compensate authors?
·         Is it fair The New York Times doesn’t review self-published books?

These are but a handful of the many topics and themes authors, editors, literary agents, promoters, publishing executives and others could address.

Debates for president, of course, have a lot at stake, such as who will lead our nation to address life-death and quality-of-life issues.  Authors and publishers have important things to debate, but they seem secondary to global politics.  Still, a lot of important issues plague the world of books today.

I think a panel of publishing experts should gather, more to brainstorm and collaborate than to debate or compete. These discussions could look into generating new ideas and identifying best practices on things like:

·         What’s being done to battle piracy and copyright law violations of published books?
·         How can self-published authors compete with those of the Big 5?
·         What should the industry do with Amazon?
·         How do we ensure books aren’t censored, banned, or boycotted?
·         How do we improve literacy?
·         How can communities help grow their libraries?
·         Can books help society fix its problems?

The presidential debates get attention from the media, and rightfully so, because they are important and people perceive them to be relevant to their life.  If people place a similar value to books and debates about them, we could create a strong theater of ideas.

Maybe the book industry needs its own political party.  Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and the Bookish Party.  Imagine having a candidate champion books and the role they play in our lives.  Imagine a candidate who spoke out for all things books.  Why not?  Why not have a political spokesperson for books on a grand stage?  I’d watch the book debates.  Would you?

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

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