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The social importance of books - our take on it

Posted by David Penney on

The following prelude to this blog post is taken from

"The publishing industry’s focus on profits amounts to a censoring of a diversity of viewpoints and experience

Books are lives compressed, humanity summarised into screaming or striking stories. One would think the book world would be a safe haven from inequality, but instead the traditional publishing industry – the big corporate publishers - is perpetuating prejudice and limiting ideas by elevating certain authors, characters, and thoughts above all others, with significant social consequences.

The big publishers are big businesses with monopolies over a product, as much as other industries. They are driven by profit, rather than the social importance of books, and only publish books that are a sure thing, causing quality to be lost to lowest-common-denominator marketability.  Sure things are books by celebrities, books with a guaranteed (forced) market such as text books and required readings in schools and universities, books on popular genres such as horror and romance, and books by authors who have already been very successful. Just as food monopolies limit food choice and news monopolies restrict our understanding of current events, the book corporations have a monopoly on the ideas, identity, history and perspectives available to us."

As a small independent publisher Siri Scientific Press is in total control of what it publishes. We do not have to answer to a board of directors or trustees in order to justify the publication of a particular title. Of course, we also need to make profit in order to continue producing new titles, but this is not our main concern. If we like a book that falls within our remit and think it provides useful information then we will publish it, regardless of how specialized it might be (obviously, the more specialized the content, the more limited the market will be). This is not a major concern.

Furthermore, in one of our recent titles just released: HOMO SAPIENS - An appraisal of modern humans we felt that the content was SO IMPORTANT with regard to our collective behaviour and the impact it is having, both on society and the planet we call home, that we have reduced our profit margins drastically in the hope that it will be affordable to as many people as who may wish to read it. Indeed, by doing so we may have actually shot ourselves in the foot! The old adage of 'you get what you pay for' may lead some potential readers to question how important the content of a book priced at just £12.00 can be. Do not be fooled. This enlightening book, written in a style accessible to a broad audience, is guaranteed to make you re-consider how your every day actions can be altered to help make the world a better place.

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