[Publishing is] making something public. That’s not a job anymore. That’s a button. There’s a button that says “publish,” and when you press it, it’s done. In ye olden times of 1997, it was difficult and expensive to make things public, and it was easy and cheap to keep things private. Privacy was the default setting. We had a class of people called publishers because it took special professional skill to make words and images visible to the public. Now it doesn’t take professional skills. It doesn’t take any skills. It takes a Wordpress install.”
Cough. Shuffle. WOW.
This is an extremely oversimplified version of what a publisher does. Especially in book publishing. Especially NOW. He should know that. He goes on to talk about the aspects of publishing that are necessary — editors, fact-checkers, designers — but has he ever set foot inside a publishing house and seen what the publisher does? Do you think the editor wants to do the financial stuff, the projections, the budgets, the negotiations, coordinating with marketing and art and sales to make this thing happen, to help the author realize her vision and make some actual dollar bills while doing so? Nuh-uh. And does he think the book on his Kindle just magicked itself into existence without someone (I don’t know, maybe a PUBLISHER?) to coordinate all of this?
Someone else have this rampage please. I haven’t had enough coffee to respond intelligently.