After years of sales growth, major publishers reported a fall in their e-book sales for the first time this year, introducing new doubts about the potential of e-books in the publishing industry. A Penguin executive even admitted recently that the e-books hype may have driven unwise investment, with the company losing too much confidence in “the power of the word on the page.”
What makes someone a good writer or what makes writing good?
To begin to understand what makes writing, and writers, “good,” we need to ask the larger question “What is writing?”
It’s easy to agree on the definition of writing if we limit it to something like “putting pen to paper” or “typing ideas into a computer.”
These days businesses can focus so much on the trees that they forget the forest.
Take the newspaper business, which has been on a death spiral for at least 20 years.
- We have 20% fewer journalists working today than we had in 2001 (Saba, Jennifer (March 16, 2009). “Specifics on Newspapers from ‘State of News Media’ Report”. Editor & Publisher. Archived from the original on March 20, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-17).
- Many readers no longer seek out newspapers per se; they look for specific writers, journalists, social media and blogs. (Ibid)
- In an effort to cut costs, many news publications have cut staff and content, which turns away readers, creating a vicious cycle. (Morton, John (October–November 2007). “Buffeted: Newspapers Are Paying the Price for Shortsighted Thinking”. American Journalism Review.)