You really don’t need to look hard for even traditionally published authors driving change:
The two authors, who will continue to write for S&S, are also skilled in other areas. Murray has an MBA from New York University and Billingsley is a former TV and radio news reporter who also has more than 25 years experience in marketing.
“We’ve been pretty successful and we’ve still got book contracts at S&S,” Murray said in a phone interview with PW. Murray told PW the notion to launch a publishing company began a year ago when her agent, Lisa Dawson, self-published some of Murray’s fiction as an e-book novel and the book sold about 15,000 copies with almost no promotion. “Just a little note on my facebook page,” Murray said.
via Authors Launch Brown Girls Publishing.
A good piece from David this:
It was no place to pursue the argument, and if time had been available I might have learnt all sorts of clever things that Penguin Random House have up their sleeves to stave off change and preserve the status quo. The novel form as a narrative seems to me to begin with Samuel Richardson and Henry Fielding in the mid-eighteenth century . Much of the last century, from James Joyce and Virginia Woolf onwards was occupied in trying to blow up the form Things that have a beginning often also have an end . Did Sophocles remark to Euripides, “Well, old boy, one thing is certain. We shall always have a job because plebs will always want three act tragedy!”
For this Never thing to work for fiction publishers the demographics have to be right , and I see no evidence that the form, if we discount the odd phenomena of Fifty Shades (perhaps itself a pointer to a future?), is growing or diminishing in audience. If I was working in fiction publishing, then I would want a small unit dedicated to second guessing the future – be it multiple media, narrative choice for the reader, the future of smartphone as a narrative platform or any of the other emerging network options for telling stories to each other.
via David Worlock | Developing digital strategies for the information marketplace | Supporting the migration of information providers and content players into the networked services world of the future..
Does seem strange to me that anyone would adopt this way of thinking. Maybe it’s the public front to a very different private thinking. I certainly hope so!
All good this, and by my lights the first must read of 2013 for the publishing community:
One form this organizational blindness takes is the tracking of the wrong metrics. By “wrong” I mean measurements that tend to support current activity without providing a different and perhaps unflattering perspective. A university press director proudly told me about his system of peer review, the number of outside reviewers, how carefully these reviews were themselves assessed, and how the reviews were used by authors to improve their books. Nice job. But the same director failed to note that sales of the press’s books had declined by more than a third in the past decade, and that financial support from the parent institution was wavering. “Have you considered the possibility that you are publishing the wrong books, that you are working in fields that are not growing and may even be declining,” I asked. He was taken aback by my question. After all, the peer review results said the press was doing a great job.
Examples of tracking the wrong things, or at least of failing to track some important things, can be found everywhere. I encountered one management team that boasted of their profit margins. But the same team had failed to adjust their sales reports for inflation. Thus, over a period of about 15 years, this team had in fact been putting the company through a long-term liquidation.
via Dancing with Myself — The Principal Impediment to Change and Innovation « The Scholarly Kitchen.
Great and interesting post from Kevin Kelly about economic growth and where we are at with it
The main accomplishment of this 3rd Industrialization, the networking of our brains, other brains and other things, is to add something onto the substrate of productivity. Call it consumptity, or generativity. By whatever name we settle on, this frontier expands the creative aspect of the whole system, increasing innovations, expanding possibilities, encouraging the inefficiencies of experiment and exploring, absorbing more of the qualities of play. We don’t have good measurements of these yet. Cynics will regard this as new age naiveté, or unadorned utopianism, or a blindness to the “realities” of real life of greedy corporations, or bad bosses, or the inevitable suffering of real work. It’s not.
via The Technium: The Post-Productive Economy.
Very interesting piece this!
Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr are idiots. No, really — the couple after bidding a Steven Slater-esque adieu to their previous careers as graphic designers founded Idiots’ Books, an independent press run out of their Maryland barn. There they live, work and raise two children. Swanson writes and Behr illustrates, and together they distribute their snide, satirical works through a bimonthly subscription service. Titles include “The Baby Is Disappointing,” a sarcastic paean to parenting, and “Facial Features of French Explorers,” a microanalysis of the craniofacial quirks of adventurers like Samuel de Champlain. They also maintain a blog about their lives.
via The Idiots Guide to Publishing – NYTimes.com.