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What’s a writer to do when publishers say no? Bradley Abruzzi

Posted on the August 23rd, 2012

If you have 70 or so minutes to spare and you are interested in the heated, at times hysterical, debate now underway about traditional publishing versus self-publishing, here’s a link to a video I highly recommend.

The speaker is Bradley Abruzzi, an attorney in the Office of the General Counsel at MIT. In this candid and thoughtful talk, however, Abruzzi’s topic isn’t his successful day job or the legal field. Instead he relates a personal story — his own long search and failure to find a publisher for his literary fiction manuscripts, and his decision finally to self-publish his own novel.

Abruzzi doesn’t try to hide his frustration and disappointment. This is fortunate for his listeners because it gives us a close-up view of the dilemma a writer confronts when publishers repeatedly say no.  Abruzzi discusses the promise, and difficulties, of digital media for writers, beginning his talk with a concise and informed historical overview of writers and publishing, ranging from the feudal times to present day.

The talk was given at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. You can watch the full video here, or click on the screenshot above.


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