That Pearson cluelessness
The errors of fact that Christopher Pearson made in his attack on the ABC are damning enough. It should be remembered, however, that these errors formed the basis of his conclusions; for example, that ABC Books has “entrenched” itself as “boutique publisher-in-chief to the Howard haters...” and variations on that theme.
Then there’s the following attempt by Pearson to drag a controversy from his clueless factoids:
When thinking about ABC Books and the matter of competitive neutrality, there are some questions the [ABC] board may like to ask. Does the publishing arm get free or subsidised legal advice, office space and the like? Does it pay anything remotely resembling the equivalent commercial value for cross-promotion on ABC media of its products? What sort of marketing advantages do the ABC logo and shelf space in ABC shops confer, and what is their market value? How do the advances it pays to authors compare with those paid by commercial publishers? Are those advances, and the terms on which they’re paid, overly generous in ways that skew the market, and do they bear a normal relation to the expected sales of the work?
Pearson “hasten[s] to point out that I pose these questions because I don’t know the answers.” If only he’d extended that spirit of free enquiry to his whole approach to the topic from the beginning.