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.
I’m intrigued by this. Not least because 5,000 paperbacks in 7 months is 23 books a day. Impressive stuff, though I wonder if ut makes any money:
Politics and Prose has produced almost 5,000 paperback books — some in as little as five minutes — since receiving the book machine nicknamed “Opus” last November. Leggett said about 90 percent of the books printed on the machine are self-published works by local authors.
The others are out-of-print editions, millions of titles available in the public domain like Google Books, and digital formats licensed out through major publishers including Harper Collins.
Alfred Morgan Jr. was able to get a copy of his father’s out-of-print 1923 aviation guide, “How to Build a 20-foot Bi-Plane Glider,” printed on the machine for $8. The volume was on Google Books.
A powerful piece by James Bridle, I agree with most of it, though some grates a little:
Finally, the text still requires context. As publishers spin up their digital and print-on-demand backlists, more and more is published with less and less context. These efforts amount to land-grabs and rights-squatting, without adding value. Works without TOCs, indexes, author bios, footnotes. Placing work in context is one of publishers’ primary tasks, stretching out to commissioning introductions, assembling background material, supporting biographies and critical studies. Design belongs here too: good book design, appropriate book design, as important now as it has ever been.
It is somewhat surprising that Hachette will enter into such a deal, considering the company already owns an e-bookstore, Numilog, which it acquired in 2008 and that already offers some 55,000 titles for download in a variety of formats. But earlier this year, Hachette struck a partnership deal with Ingram’s subsidiary Lightning Source to open a POD center in Maurepas, opened in partnership with Lightning Source – a likely source for the fulfillment of the aforementioned titles and may be a possible motivating factor behind the deal.
I just liked this paragraph but the whole piece is interesting and well worth reading!
Case in point: The University of Texas Co-Op — who is the largest seller of used textbooks in the country and the most profitable independent college bookstore in the United States — recently purchased an EBM for $150,000. It has created publishing company Forty Acres Press to manage the machine, which has been affectionately named B.O.B: The Burnt Orange Book machine, in honor of the university’s signature color.
But will book reading actually suffer? I doubt it. My kids would love to have Kindles so that they could read spontaneously. They get addicted to a series (don’t get me going about “Pretty Little Liars” right now), and once one book is polished off, they want to start the next one. But the scarcity model of book publishing means having to wait days between reading events if ordering a book from an online retailer; calling around town to find a book and often failing; or checking the library which often doesn’t have the latest materials. Does waiting, calling around, or getting frustrated help the reading experience? Not at all.
Dorchester, an excellent but undercapitalized publisher of mass market paperbacks in such popular genres as romance, horror, thrillers and westerns had been struggling for some time as returns hammered it relentlessly and digital books ate further into its margins. Milliot reports that the editorial team will remain intact but in all likelihood the monthly releases will drop from 30 to 25.
If Dorchester follows its digital decision, monthly releases are not the only thing that’s going to drop. Everything about the company’s operation will shrink if not implode. And yet, oddly, that will not necessarily be a bad thing. In the new paradigm, direct-to-consumer publishing means higher profits because all intermediaries (distributors, bookstores, etc.) are eliminated. E-Reads knows this: we’ve been doing it since 2000.