In a recent post on his Whatever blog, science fiction writer John Scalzi makes some very fine points related to the ongoing controversy surrounding the way Amazon treats various publishers and how this affects authors.

He makes great points throughout the post and with a little tweaking we can very easily apply his remarks to libraries and publishers.

Here’s my tweaked version:

I really really really wish publishers would stop pretending that anything they do is for the benefit of libraries. They do not. They do it for their own benefit, and then find a way to spin it to libraries, with the help of a coterie of supporters to carry that message forward, more or less uncritically.

Libraries: publishers are not your friend. Neither is any other vencdor. They are all business entities with their own goals, only some of which may benefit you. When any of them starts invoking your own interest, while promoting their own, look to your wallet.

From the original, I’ve adapted the first paragraph of item 5 as well as the last paragraph of the post.


  1. #1 John Scalzi
    United States
    August 1, 2014

    You know, I’m happy to for you to riff off what I said, have no objection to your adaptation, and I’m glad you found it useful; thanks.

    That said, the headline really isn’t accurate, as it is not *me* who is saying it, it’s you, adapting what I said for your own use.

    This may sound like a nitpick, but I would really like you to change that headline to something more accurate.


  2. #2 John Dupuis
    August 1, 2014

    Not a problem. I’ve changed the post title.

  3. #3 John Scalzi
    United States
    August 1, 2014

    Thank you! You are officially awesome in my book.

  4. […] John Scalzi on the relationship between libraries and publishers [Confessions of a Science Librarian… ( […]

  5. #5 Jim A
    August 6, 2014

    It is certainly not the case that all salesmen are lying sacks of poo. Human nature being what it is, it seems likely that only a minority of them are. But nonetheless assuming that they are until proven otherwise is a very useful working assumption.

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