Author Solutions President and CEO Kevin Weiss responds to the backlash from Harlequin and Thomas Nelson new self publishing entities here.
an interesting quote...
"There are plenty of books in traditional publishing today that just don't make it; it's a hits business," Weiss said. "It's why the publishing industry is going through a transformation today and the consumer has everything to say about what is good content and what isn't good content. To say that in order for a book to make it in the marketplace it has to blessed by a traditional publisher doesn't make any sense in 2009."
Unfortunately, I agree.
Let's take African-American Publishing for example...
In the 1990s publishers began pursuing self-published authors who had gained a decent platform on their own. (The late E. Lynn Harris, Kimberla Lawson Roby, Zane, etc.) However, the truth is, those authors self-published because traditional publishing didn't believe that African-American people bought commercial fiction and they didn't know how to market to them.
There successes--which are phenomenal(Zane has sold 2.7 million copies since)-- spawned a flood of self-published authors into the marketplace. Some good, some bad, but definitely changed the game for African-American authors seeking book deals with traditional publishers.
Imagine how much money Harlequin would have made if DelaCorte had self-pubbed Zane's "The Sex Chronicles?" Imagine if Thomas Nelson had selfpubbed The Shack through WestBow Press a few years back?
That is the question publishers are asking themselves. They are trying to catchup to all the money that they had left on the table years ago when they rejected authors for whatever reasons they had.
So what does this all mean now?
- African American authors have been reacting, adapting and staying ahead of the publishing curve for a while now. Pay attention to what they are up to next.
- As I said before published authors should take advantage of self-pubbing to leverage their brand and to provide a separate source of income.
- But most importantly, we all need to think about how we can make our stories accessible to New Media and how to monetize that content?