Fewer publishers hurt writers and readers

Relating to your editorial of August 3 “Put authors and readers first when deciding on merging massive publishers:” In 1999, I went to New York on the day my novel, “Exhausting Time,” was revealed and discovered that everybody at Delacorte Press was going to be fired that day, together with my writer, who had sworn to silence earlier than the general public announcement. .

The German publishing big, Bertelsmann, had acquired Bantam Doubleday Dell, which itself was a consolidation of these three printers. They saved the Delacorte imprint however not one of the staff. I’ve had a fortunate profession, with an editor at William Morrow and Co. supporting my generally controversial books, however most writers in between aren’t so fortunate.

Bertelsmann went on to accumulate Random Home and Viking Penguin. All these corporations at the moment are a part of a company entity. This has been dangerous for readers and writers and for individuals who work within the trade. Each time publishers merge, they lower jobs throughout the board. In a current merger between Houghton Mifflin and Harcourt, they lower 1,200 jobs.

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. We wish to hear from our readers. To be thought of for publication, letters should embrace your full identify, your neighborhood or hometown, and a telephone quantity for verification functions. Letters needs to be a most of roughly 375 phrases.

The variety of revealed books is just not reducing, however publishers and publishers now deal with many extra titles and can’t give most of them the eye each author deserves.

When massive media corporations like Disney began shopping for up publishing imprints within the Nineteen Nineties, they modified publishing tradition. These consolidations marked the start of seven- and eight-figure advances for a handful of writers. The variety of books the common reader buys stays pretty fixed.

To win again these advances, publishers should dedicate most of their promoting budgets to their stars. This has skewed promoting in an effort to create blockbusters out of the dearer titles. Readers can purchase these blockbusters, however they will not be on the lookout for books revealed in smaller codecs both. And most books are revealed in smaller varieties.

Once I was president of the Thriller Writers of America, I used to be shocked to be taught that the majority of my fellow writers on the board made $3,000 a 12 months or much less from their books. Consolidation advantages a number of stars and advantages the shareholders of the conglomerate. Nevertheless it would not assist trade staff or writers.

Sara Paretsky, best-selling creator, Hyde Park

CTA wants extra diesel buses

Canceling the Chicago Transit Authority’s plans to put money into extra new diesel buses, as some recommend, is the worst attainable concept. Doing so would guarantee passengers have much less dependable and even diminished service because the fleet ages. It may additionally result in larger fares for passengers as town struggles to take care of buses.

The CTA’s aspirations for an all-electric fleet by 2040 are laudable, however have to be tempered by fiscal and sensible realities. First, the mission of public transportation is to offer reasonably priced, obtainable, and dependable public transportation.

Essentially the most appropriate expertise to do this at present is diesel. Illinois leads the nation with a more moderen diesel trucking fleet. Based mostly on the newest information, Illinois ranks sevenththenationally for the variety of new superior expertise diesel transit buses in service, with greater than 57% from 2011 onwards. These buses obtain near-zero emissions. They’re additionally extra gas environment friendly than older fashions, saving town cash.

As for electrical buses, the fuels that the buses cost have to be thought of. In keeping with the US Vitality Data Administration, 30% of Illinois’ electrical energy comes from burning pure gasoline and coal, fairly than renewable power.

To accentuate the assault on local weather change, electrification is just not the one answer. CTA may additionally broaden its use of homegrown superior renewable biodiesel fuels. Final 12 months, 168 million gallons had been produced within the state. These scale back greenhouse gasoline emissions by 50% to 80% and scale back particulate matter, in addition to different smog-forming compounds, throughout your entire fleet instantly. That’s with out new buses or gas infrastructure.

If electrical buses are a great match, they are often adopted if time and funds enable, not on the expense of routine fleet turnover. The best advantages shall be achieved by retiring older buses and changing as many as financially attainable with newer diesel-powered buses.

Doing so won’t solely management working prices and stabilize service, however can even present the best variety of emissions and transportation advantages and environmental fairness to passengers in Chicago and the 35 communities served by the CTA.

Allen Schaeffer, Govt Director, Diesel Know-how Discussion board

Key inquiries to ask candidates

As our election course of will get underway and eyes flip to 2024, there are three questions I need each candidate from each celebration to reply unequivocally. No rhetoric about committees, focus teams, or extenuating circumstances, only a response from one’s coronary heart and character:

1. Is Joe Biden the duly elected President of america?

2. Do you suppose that each girl ought to have the fitting to decide on about her personal being pregnant?

3. Will you’re employed to ban assault rifles in civilian palms?

In keeping with the polls I’ve seen, most Individuals would reply “sure” to all three. So why do not our representatives and candidates get it? The questions have to be requested straight in order that the readability of our voting choices is obvious.

James Conroy, Close to East

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