Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Traditional Publisher

Why Traditional Publishing Is Not for Serious Writers . . .


I’ve compared Self-Publishing and Traditional Publishing quite a few times—click on both terms down in the Top Tags widget in the left side bar to do a bit of research… Why Traditional Publishing Is Not for Serious Writers

However, I’ve found what may be the definitive article explaining why serious writers need to learn how to Self-Publish.

The article is from Erica Verrillo and is titled, An Insider’s View of the Publishing Business.

My usual excerpts (to, hopefully, encourage you to read the full article...):

“We think editors at publishing houses edit. The truth is they spend most of their time responding to memos, developing profit-and-loss statements, figuring out advances, supplementing publicity efforts, fielding calls from agents, attending meetings, and so on. They edit on weekends and evenings, and on the train as they are commuting.”

“Privishing (where the publisher quietly suppresses books, whether intentionally or not) has become the norm for publishers for various reasons, the first of which is that there are limitations on budgets. The second is that editors compete for those budgets.”

“The negative attitude that editors develop about manuscripts and proposals is in part because budgets are limited, and is in part driven by competition. But mindless rejection is also an inherent feature of publishing….Editors are not only competing for budgets, they are engaged in what may be described as a pissing contest in snark.”

“…publishers identify writers as ‘outsiders’, as ‘them’, even though their income depends on the people they publish. This, I believe, is a significant component of the attitude that is shared almost universally among publishers…”

And, this is the big trophy that so many writers put up with rejection after rejection to embrace…?
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Friday Poll ~ Traditional vs? Self-Publishing


Results form last week’s poll—What’s Your Favorite Social Network?

Traditional vs Self-Publishing Poll

Image Courtesy of Craig Parylo ~ http://www.freeimages.com/profile/parylo00

Nearly 7% don’t use any social networks.

Almost 27% don’t have a favorite social network.

33.3% had Google Plus as their favorite.

Twitter pulled 13.3%.

Facebook and LinkedIn each had just under 7%.

And, “Other” was at 7% with Second Life as the social network.

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Now, this week’s poll—Traditional vs? Self-Publishing:

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Will Traditional Publishers Survive?


So much change in so little time!

Folks are predicting the Big-Six Book Publishers and dozens of smaller houses are on their way out.

Well

Liberty Books has an article by Ellen F. Brown (award-winning freelance writer) called, Why Book Publishing Can Survive Digital Age: Echoes.

As far as the challenge to traditional publishers from the new digital phenomenon, Ellen says, “…the publishing industry has a long history of weathering these sorts of challenges…”.

Then, she proceeds to cite some history:

“In the 1920s, drug, grocery and department stores gave booksellers fits by offering popular titles at cut-rate prices.”

“Also problematic was the Book of the Month Club, a distribution company founded in 1926 that sold inexpensive hardcover versions of popular books through mail order.”

“And, of course, there was the ultimate competitor to bookstores: public libraries. Throughout the first half of the 20th century, communities across the U.S. funded the construction of facilities where books could be had for free, albeit only on loan.”

“Then came the ‘paperback revolution’. According to Publishers Weekly, word spread at the 1939 American Booksellers Convention that ‘some reckless publisher’ was going to bring out a series of paperback reprints of popular novels to be sold for only a quarter a piece.”

“The real test of the industry’s mettle came in 1949 when Fawcett Publications announced a new series of 25-cent paperback originals. A vigorous debate arose over the propriety of original work being released in such an inexpensive format.”

And, Ellen’s thoughts on how all that affected the publishers?

“Although there was much grumbling along the way, the industry gradually accepted that the new products and distributors, including libraries, were not evil incarnate. To the contrary, they were something of a boon in that they generated interest in reading among people who didn’t frequent bookstores.”

Then, a most interesting thought:

“The new products also had a hard time maintaining their early successes. It’s a simple matter of economics: Delivering a high-quality product at a bargain-basement price is difficult. Once competition heated up in the cheap-book market, signs of strain began to show.”

There’s a lot more history and speculation in the full article but Ellen sums up with: “Electronics are here to stay, but someday the digital revolution in publishing may well be seen as just another phase in the natural evolution of a vital and resilient industry.”

Do read the original article. It’s quite well-written

But

Do you agree that the Digital Revolution is just one more “adjustment” the traditional publishers need to consider?

Is there something “different” about Print-On-Demand and E-Books that poses a greater challenge to the Big-Six and their smaller cousins?
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