From David Gaughran:
There seems to be a view in certain self-congratulatory circles that publishers have finally got to grips with the digital revolution, that they have weathered the fiercest part of the storm, and that they are well-placed now not just to survive, but to thrive.
There are innumerable problems with that view, of course, but today I’d like to focus on one core truth of this brave new world that publishers have failed to grasp.
Namely, there are only two essential components to publishing in the digital era: the writer and the reader.
All of the old middlemen – agents, publishers, distributors, retailers – have to justify their cut, as the writer can now bypass them and go direct to readers. The only middlemen (IMO) currently making a compelling case for their cut are retailers. Self-publishers are more than happy to fork over 30% to Amazon to access their ever-expanding customer base.
Publishers seem determined to move in the opposite direction: making the proposition of publishing with them less attractive rather than more attractive, reducing advances, worsening contract terms, and treating writers as marks rather than partners – despite whatever guff accompanies the launch of their latest initiatives.
. . . .
Dymocks-owned D Publishing is Toast
As we have seen from the Random House debacle, public pressure can have an effect, which is why I’ll keep blogging about Author Solutions. In case you think that this kind of pressure can only effect the more media-friendly stories involving traditional publishers, think again.
D Publishing was launched in December 2011 (by Australian bookselling chain Dymocks) with some of the most oppressive terms I’ve seen to date. The good news is that Dymocks has announced the closure of D Publishing, effective by month’s end.
I don’t know the full details behind the decision, but I can’t help but feel that the massive public outcry over the terms steered many writers away.
Penguin has been more successful at shrugging off criticism of Author Solutions. Indeed, Penguin CEO John Makinson recently said he was “proud” of the purchase.
Link to the rest at Let’s Get Digital