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Do we still need publishers? Some thoughts from Anthony Horowitz

Got a question/comment about the business of writing or about the publishing industry? Here's your place to post it!
T.D.McKinnon
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Post by T.D.McKinnon » Fri March 2nd, 2012, 7:18 am

I couldn’t agree more with every thought that has been expressed on this thread so far. Any serious author, indie or otherwise, should not be happy until a professional edit has brought their work to the best it can be for the reader and therefore, obviously, for themselves. I too have been quite disgusted to discover errors and typos in books produced by the so called ‘big six’.

They are obviously cutting corners to cut costs - and that means, among other things, cutting staff - to try and stay in a business that is moving, quite rapidly, in a direction that will progressively cut their control and therefore their profit margins.

For years, authors had increasingly less control over their own artistry. They were basically told what to write if they wanted to be published, and then made to traipse from pillar to post to peddle their wares, and wait in queues, sometimes for years, sometimes indefinitely. The time of the middle people is coming to an end, or at least their control is now reaching its used-by-date.

I do believe there will eventually be a method of ensuring some minimum standards for ePublishing; although probably not until someone can devise a way of making money out of it.

There will always be a place for those who want to assist in the process (editing, distribution and, as MLE so delightfully puts it, curating), but the important people, and the only essential components in the process, are the writers and the readers; and they are definitely benefiting from the current trend. The future of literature has never been brighter.

T.D.McKinnon

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Alisha Marie Klapheke
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Post by Alisha Marie Klapheke » Sun March 4th, 2012, 4:12 am

I'm writing YA right now and I noticed that the creator of the YALitChat site has launched a company called 9MonthBooks. It is supposedly a group that must be queried and if you are accepted they take less than half (I think) of the profits from your digital book while they assist you in formatting and a big, fat online marketing onslaught. I'm sure they include upkeep of blogs, twitter, fb and the rest. They mention you around and get the chain reaction going online. Is this where we are headed? It seems like self pubbing but with a really knowledgeable older sister backing you up.

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EC2
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Post by EC2 » Sun March 4th, 2012, 12:56 pm

T.D.McKinnon;97964]I couldn’t agree more with every thought that has been expressed on this thread so far. Any serious author, indie or otherwise, should not be happy until a professional edit has brought their work to the best it can be for the reader and therefore, obviously, for themselves. I too have been quite disgusted to discover errors and typos in books produced by the so called ‘big six’.
I would say that edit problems always slip through, but for the 'big six' it tends to be a minority percentage, whereas the margin for self publish mistakes by the very nature of the beast is bound to be greater and this is where high end editorial services come in. It literally pays to be diligent
They are obviously cutting corners to cut costs - and that means, among other things, cutting staff - to try and stay in a business that is moving, quite rapidly, in a direction that will progressively cut their control and therefore their profit margins.
My UK and USA publishers haven't cut any corners or staff for the past few years. In fact they've employed more people to deal with digital and it's all looking very healthy.
For years, authors had increasingly less control over their own artistry. They were basically told what to write if they wanted to be published, and then made to traipse from pillar to post to peddle their wares, and wait in queues, sometimes for years, sometimes indefinitely. The time of the middle people is coming to an end, or at least their control is now reaching its used-by-date.
Absolutely. Anyone can publish anything they want these days. However they will have to slog like stink at the marketing and find ways of making their work stand out in a suddenly saturated market place and most won't make a living at it. The big winners are established authors with long tail backlists to sell because they already have a recognised name and track record. Also the writers who know how to sell their product big and have written a decent read. And when that happens, they get snapped up by the big six, offered a traditional publishing contract, and somehow they never say no! I read the other day that e-publishing yourself has become the new slush pile!
I do believe there will eventually be a method of ensuring some minimum standards for ePublishing; although probably not until someone can devise a way of making money out of it.
I don't think there will, but I do think readers will find ways of sifting gold from dross and finding the sort of reads they want.
There will always be a place for those who want to assist in the process (editing, distribution and, as MLE so delightfully puts it, curating), but the important people, and the only essential components in the process, are the writers and the readers; and they are definitely benefiting from the current trend. The future of literature has never been brighter.
Literature is indeed booming and that may be all to the good for everyone. But the readers are still left sorting through the junk heap (now a much huger junk heap) for diamonds, and I think that forums, communities and discussion groups such as this will play a vital role in helping readers find the books they want to read.

[/QUOTE]
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

www.elizabethchadwick.com

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