The Pamphlet and The Future of Publishing

Two items I’m considering:

…The pamphlet ought to be the literary form of an age like our own. We live in a time when political passions run high, channels of free expression are dwindling, and organized lying exists on a scale never before known. For plugging the holes in history the pamphlet is the ideal form.

Yet lively pamphlets are very few, and the only explanation I can offer — a rather lame one — is that the publishing trade and the literary papers have never gone to the trouble of making the reading public pamphlet-conscious. One difficulty of collecting pamphlets is that they are not issued in any regular manner, cannot always be procured even in the libraries of museums, and are seldom advertised and still more seldom reviewed.

A good writer with something he passionately wanted to say — and the essence of pamphleteering is to have something you want to say now, to as many people as possible — would hesitate to cast it in pamphlet form, because he would hardly know how to set about getting it published, and would be doubtful whether the people he wanted to reach would ever read it. Probably he would water his idea down into a newspaper article or pad it out into a book. As a result by far the greater number of pamphlets are […] written by lonely lunatics who publish at their own expense… –George Orwell


The Kindle Singles program, and indie publishing generally.


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