Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Big Pub Enters the Arena- and Gets Served

It seems the tide is turning. Corporate bigwigs from the traditonal publishing houses are starting to emerge from their bunkers to talk to the sweaty peasants about publishing.
Here are a set of posts you MUST read if you're a writer interested at all in the publishing business.

For the first, Joe Konrath hosts Questions From Steve  Zacharius, CEO and President of Kensington Publishing.
I commented on this one, saying the CEO had done the equivalent of entering a boxing ring blindfolded and with his hands tied behind his back. Yeah, he got clobbered, mostly because he had chance after chance to respond to direct questions, and kept dodging, ducking, and diving.

Even worse was the other one who foolishly took on Barry Eisler, whose debate skills are even better, and who surgically removed the man's ass and handed it to him.
Barry Eisler, Authors Deserve Better

Of course, the bigwigs of traditional publishing are still not getting it, having business practices from the 1980's and accounting practices from the 1960's, but hey, they're talking now. Which tells you something. Like, they're running scared. Really scared. They know that unless they make radical changes, their business days are numbered.

And they blame it all on Amazon, in what is called Amazon Derangement Syndrome. They say it's better for authors to get screwed by BigPub for real in the here and now, because someday in the future Amazon might screw them. Nothing about how they refuse to listen to the people trying to help them survive by giving them great advice on how to make money, keep authors, and get more good ones signed on. See the Hugh Howey posts on how to do this.

You know, if there was a coaching company who helped people reach championship levels, they could justly charge for that in relation to what they were doing. If a publishing company built an author up through ever-increasing sales to stardom, that would be something (and it used to happen).

But their new strategy is to hang out at the finish lines, waiting for the front runners to come charging to the tape, then leaping out, grabbing hold as the finish line is crossed, and claiming that the winner owed it all to them. They want to crowd onto the medal stand. Thus do they wait until self-publishers have sold thousands of books, and only then offering a BigPub contract. After the person has already shown they don't need BigPub to create and sell a good book.

And they still say that nobody can win unless they sign with BigPub. Even though more winners emerge every month.

It's a business strategy based on the hope there will be enough future writing suckers who don't understand math or business. And on the hope that the one giant bookstore chain left stays completely healthy.

Not the smartest plan. It's a revolution, and they're clinging to the old ways. They're pushing themselves into the dustbin of history!

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