Thursday, January 21, 2010

Publishers Weekly Update on Subsidies

I've given some thought to my response to PW's article on Author Solutions ("Change Maker: Kevin Weiss" 12/ 21/09,) and its misuse of the word "self-publishing" to describe the subsidy press.

Publisher's Weekly is a trade magazine aimed at publishers and bookstores. It is not in business to serve small independent publishers, self-publishers or authors.

That said, the book publishing industry is hurting. (As are all publishers. Last year, Publisher's Weekly laid off employees including their editor-in-chief, Sara Nelson.)

Enter the subsidy publishers...they are kicking butt. Now Harlequin joined forces with Author Solutions and many of the traditional publishers are following.

Since the subsidies have already hijacked the self-publishing term, PW is going to run with it. It sounds better than "subsidy" or "vanity" and what do they care? They are reporting on the sector that is making money and that can potentially save traditional publishers.

Think about it--instead of publishers risking their money on authors, they charge them to provide services and a product. If the book actually sells, even better!

Who wants to guess when we hit 1 million books published in a year?


Christy Pinheiro, EA ABA said...

This year, I am publishing at least 5 books, all on taxation. And they will go out of print as soon as the new tax laws take effect next year.

No publisher would publish my books, but thank God I didn't get suckered into using a vanity press.

Norma said...

Thanks for your comment--of course, I agree.

It is amazing to me how many people do fall for the subsidy trap. The craziest part is that it is easier and cheaper than ever with POD to publish yourself.

I printed my first book, Harmonious Environment, off press. while I managed to sell 1000's, there were significant upfront costs.

My next book, which is coming out in March, will be printed POD through Lightning Source. If Sell Your Home Fast sells quickly, I will do an off-press printing.

The best part is, POD has become so good it is basically indistinguishable from off-press.

Anonymous said...

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