Scott Turow Outlines ‘The Slow Death of the American Author’

By Jason Boog Comment

In a long and angry op-ed, Authors Guild president and bestselling novelist Scott Turow bemoaned “The Slow Death of the American Author.

He blamed low foreign resales of used books, eBook royalties, digital piracy, academics and rumors about a used marketplace to illustrate “how the global electronic marketplace is rapidly depleting authors’ income streams.” The long essay had a section arguing that libraries no longer have the best interests of authors at heart. What do you think?

Now many public libraries want to lend e-books, not simply to patrons who come in to download, but to anybody with a reading device, a library card and an Internet connection. In this new reality, the only incentive to buy, rather than borrow, an e-book is the fact that the lent copy vanishes after a couple of weeks. As a result, many publishers currently refuse to sell e-books to public libraries.

Recently, Turow attacked Amazon’s acquisition of Goodreads, declaring that “Amazon has scuttled that potential and also squelched what was fast becoming the go-to venue for on-line reviews.” If you want to hear more from Turow, we hosted a three-part interview with the author. Follow these links to watch.

Part 1: Scott Turow Explains How Legal Writing Changed Since “Presumed Innocent”

Part 2: Scott Turow Offers Novel Writing Advice: “Persistence Is Critical”

Part 3: Scott Turow Ponders the Future of Publishing, Royalties, and Piracy