The Illusions of Traditional/Self Publishing & The Reality of Hybrid Publishing

This post by Bob Mayer originally appeared on Write It Forward on 1/23/14.

There’s a lot of heated rhetoric regarding publishing being bandied about on-line lately. Some of it was generated by the CEO of Kensington putting himself out there with some posts that had a large backlash, but overall, people seem to be digging in and drawing lines.

These lines are more blurred than most acknowledge if we examine them carefully.

It would seem to break down with traditional publishing “vs” self-publishing. I’d like to point out where this isn’t the reality and also how Cool Gus deals with these issues as a ‘hybrid’ publisher with a focus on being agile and working as a unified team.

“We treat our authors so well. You need us!” This is the message that Kensington’s CEO recently stated on-line. I also just read an interview from the CEO of Random House/Penguin saying essentially the same thing. This should be amended to: “We treat our top 5% of authors so well.” I don’t know if these CEOs are simply out of touch, being BSed or what, but the vast majority of authors are treated as interchangeable parts at trad houses and even most agencies. Because the top authors are pretty much the only authors these CEOs interact with, they make the illogical leap that all their authors are treated exactly the same way. I’ve seen many current and former Kensington authors come out on various on-line mediums describing a less than great publishing experience, yet not a single author defend the CEO’s statements. I was published by Random House and sold over one million books under the Dell imprint. During my years there I received almost no marketing support and was essentially dumped as the market coalesced. It wasn’t personal. It was business. Reminds me of Denzel Washington’s character in Man on Fire: “It’s just business.”

“We own Author Solutions.” It would appear that RHP’s CEO does not understand the pure hatred for this company among authors. You want to make money off authors? You think that equals KDP? This goes to a deep misunderstanding about authors, especially those with experience.

The Death of the Midlist.


Click here to read the full post on Write It Forward.


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