Interesting Take on Publishing

On August 4, 2011, the UK newpaper – the Guardian, wrote a piece called  the true price of publishing.  It explored what we as consumers are actually paying for.

An excerpt talks about the high ‘fixed costs‘ of the industry:

what you’re really paying for when you buy a book is something different. You are buying the “text itself”. And why is that so expensive? Because the publisher will, in many cases, have paid the author a considerable sum for the right to sell it. And because that same publisher will also (if they’re any good) have ploughed considerable further resources into editing and marketing it.

Learning from my published compatriots, I can tell you that not all publishers are equal.  Some have a tendency to let their assets (the author) dangle and drift, while others will take an active role in their asset.  Then, there is the whole gambit in between.

On top of that, traditional publishers are fighting tooth and nail to make sure that the unpublished writer feels defeat when they don’t fulfill their model of business.  e-Publishing has turn their world upside down and then pulled it, like taffy, sideways.

Publishers are struggling to keep up with the changing trends.  They want to keep revenue flowing in. But their traditional model is proven inflexible in this new climate.

Everything I just said makes me sound anti-Publisher.  That’s not the case.  I’m all for them wanting to have a good product, a good asset in their stable.  However, the fixed costs they have created makes it hard for new authors to break in.

e-Publishing has become an option for the writer struggling with the prospect of being published.  No longer is there a significant stigma with the process of publishing independently.  Yes, there is as much questionable material as there are gems.  Like in a bookstore, the reader has to sift through.

The disadvantage/advantage of a writer who takes this path is the amount of work that goes into the business aspect.  In essence, the author is the agent, editor and publisher. They stand naked before the world with their creations, vulnerable to the slings and arrows that come their way.  That is as daunting as the query process.

I know writers who have chosen both the publisher path and the self-publish path.  Each tell me it is the only way they would do it.

Writers, who want to be published, need to make an informed decision and be willing to be a strong business person, as well become a creative force.

This writer is leaning toward taking control of her business.  I’ll keep you posted.


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