From Digital Book World:
In his press release announcing Random House’s merger with Penguin, Random CEO Markus Dohle promised agents that “You and your clients will benefit from an extraordinary breadth of publishing choices, and editorial talents and experience.” Some leading literary agents are skeptical and one outspoken rep majorly begs to differ,reports Ella Delany in the Daily Beast.
“Publishers’ releases in the past have always said that nothing significant would change, and that all imprints would continue working independently as before.” says Georges Borchardt, one of the most distinguished authors’ representatives in the industry. What happened to such houses as Atheneum, Anchor, Lippincott, and Free Press? he asks. All absorbed in the churning mill of merger and acquisition that has homogenized hundreds and hundreds of proud and great publishing companies into an indistinguishable soup.
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Even if you’re too young to remember companies buried in this graveyard, or too unsentimental to mourn their passing, it nevertheless makes for depressing reading and offers scant comfort for agents and their clients wondering how they will navigate the new landscape. Especially because smart money says there are more mergers on the way.
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- Trend: The large publishing houses will continue to reduce overhead as profits shrink in the years ahead.
- Counter trend: Publishers will be looking for mergers and acquisitions to compensate for those shrinking profits. The Big Six could be the Big Three within five years.
- Trend: These companies will continue to focus more resources on fewer titles…Title count at the largest houses could drop by as much as fifty percent over the next five years.
- Counter trend: Self-publishing will grow exponentially.
- Trend: In terms of advances, the amounts paid for brand-names will continue to increase, with seven-figure or eight-figure acquisitions commonplace among authors with established track records.
- Counter trend: The six-figure advance…will become a rare species within the decade.
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- Trend: The agent of the future will become more of a business manager who handles every aspect of an author’s career.
- Counter trend: Publishers will create free-standing departments whose services can be purchased a la carte by authors.
Link to the rest at Digital Book World