Technology does interesting things to conventions and traditions. Read Thomas Kuhn's excellent The Structure of Scientific Revolutions if you'd like some fascinating research on the topic.
Just as the Internet changed the course of the travel, journalism, television, music, and banking industries, so too has it re-shaped the world of writing and publishing.
Literary agent Donald Maass, who gave me a pretty quick rejection when I was shopping for agents about five years ago, has written what amounts to the ultimate insult toward independent authors. He updated his post in the comments section, stating that he meant only to engage in allegory as a method of provocation.
Provocation? For what, Don?
Feeling a little defensive about the state of publishing, are we?
There's no need for provocation. This isn't a war, Don. It's about a changing industry--an industry in which the taste makers are the readers, not you. Not the big six. Not corporate publishing and propaganda.
I'm just one small cow packed into the back of the freight class, Don, but I write damned good stories and my growing readership enjoys them. I'm glad that Joe Konrath took your post apart with logic and support. I started reading Joe a decade ago, by the way, and I bought his books in hardcover. Now, I buy them in digital, and I'm thankful that there's a writer of his caliber that is willing to use transparency and personal experience to shine a new light on publishing.
Maass's class warfare is, like much of the propaganda now coming out of a deflating publishing industry, flawed logic disguised as insight. It's revolting, really, and the worst part is that you can tell he actually believes this.
I'm off for a run, where I'll puzzle through another plot point in the novel I'm working on while burning off the steam I generated after reading this tripe.
Yeah, that's right. This cow likes to stay lean.
Go read Don's blog post. If you don't like to run, here's a little Yiruma to get you back into a tranquil state: