From Jane Friedman:
When I first started working in publishing, no one questioned the value of a publisher.
Now they do.
When I tell nonfiction writers they need to demonstrate to the agent/editor they have a big enough platform—enough visibility—to sell books without the help of a publisher, they’ll ask, “What’s the publisher for then?”
When I tell fiction writers that their work needs to be compelling, polished, and ready for publication before they query, they’ll ask, “What’s the publisher for then?”
Link to the rest at Jane Friedman
PG suggests an additional question for authors, “How much is a publisher going to cost me?”
PG suggests that analysis of the true cost of a publisher must consider that the publisher will be costing the author money for the rest of the author’s life plus 70 years under typical tradpub contracts.
PG almost created a spreadsheet comparing costs of publishing vs. self-publishing, but decided that would lead down an OCD rabbit hole where he would spend way too much time. If anyone wants to build a spreadsheet and sends PG a link, he’ll probably do another post.