Change or Perish

Dave Balter on how the publishing industry needs to reinvent itself:

  • Authors self-package their book entirely on their own.
  • Authors distribute digital copies of their books for free to attract readers and to identify a market. They use self-distribution tools to sell as many books as they can.
  • Based on the response, the publisher determines which books to pick up, and pays a licensing and distribution right and uses their relationships to distribute a product that has developed an initial marketplace of buyers (note: great new potential business model for some plucky entrepreneur: track the ‘response’ of free book downloads as a data set for publishers to review opportunities).
  • Publishers take the completed product, make tweaks as author and publisher feel necessary, print more and distribute them through the strength of their partners.

Here, everyone wins. Authors have to prove their ability to deliver a good book and build an audience before a publisher fully invested. Publishers greatly reduce the up front production costs and the risk of betting on authors that can’t produce, and increase the odds that what they spend on will provide results.

It’s radical but desperate times call for desperate measures. Evolution forces change upon us.
Picture uploaded by kevindooley


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