AND THAT IT'S UNREASONABLE TO PUT IT ON THE AUTHOR'S BACK?
I'm sure there are already independent distributors working on that very model.(?)
I'm also sure that the big six will incorporate self-publishing services like Balboa for Hayhouse. That's certainly one way to get to have a foot in both doors. Independent, POD printers are already selling services like drop shipping to individual writers, it seems logical they will start joining forces with distributors to compete with top publishers, and then give retailers deep discounts to compete.
These are just guesses based on what I don't know about the buying and selling game of books, but there are plenty of smart people working this out.
(EDIT): Amazon already gives distributors a platform to sell from. These are the people who sell books at the 'new/used for less' options on Amazon.
I have some friends who buy book inventory in bulk and sell them on Amazon this way. They make a decent dollar at it and also have frequent garage sales and book sales at their house. Kind of a cool little gig they got goin'.
Totally agree with that.
Karma, what about multi-tasking, complete-ass writer's who are enthusiastic, enjoy getting into marketing, have incredible connections, audience, and charisma to pull it off? Who wouldn't want authors like that to work with if their books are an extension of that energy? I know you're a publicist, but don't you think that author's, whether Big 6 or self published, may actually sell more books-and have some fun too?
There already is a world of amazing writers whose work will probably never see the light of day. You may "rather" have a world of writer's who, because of financial restraints, NOT being published by one of the Bigs with a hefty advance and marketing budget have some impediments getting many sales. Some folks aren't good at selling themselves. Are you lamenting over the "perfect world" doctrine where merit overrides reality? Sadly the shy, brilliant, socially awkward author whose work could CHANGE THE WORLD may never live to see their work in print. Are you suggesting that you run a publicist business that serves the talented, yet needy? I looked at your web site, and it doesn't look like a charity that promotes promising artists on the cheap. Then again I could be completely wrong, and if that's the case I'll shut up...I don't know about you, but people who are fired up about their work are compelling, and after a few lines, a quirky comment here or there by them makes me want to read what they have to say. But I'm just some stranger on the internet who enjoys a good advertisement, pop-up, or annoying bot rather than a few words from an author with a potentially decent read, right?
Hi Peter, to be honest, I'm not sure precisely what you're getting at (I suspect you might be taking a dig at me, but fortunately I've yet to have my morning coffee, so I'll assume otherwise). I'm for the perfect world where the big 6 (and the little 600) take some responsibility for the service they provide in publishing a book, and that includes publicity. It has nothing at all to do with how good authors are at charismatically spreading their platform. Some are great, and that's terrific. Some are terrible, and that will always be the case (because writing and publicity are completely different skill sets). It's relevant to an author's success whether they are good at marketing themselves (and if there not, they can hire someone like me). But it's not relevant to the question of whether or not publishers should be doing that job for them. I'm good at drawing pictures, and maybe I could make my own book cover...but if Harper Collins comes a callin', I still expect them to hire a designer to make a cover for a book they intend to publish. My drawing skills are irrelevant...until the day everyone expects authors to make their own book covers. Which, metaphorically speaking, is what you are suggesting.
And I agree we live in a world where more and more authors are making their own covers, so-to-speak. But that all precludes the question of whose job it SHOULD be. It should be the publisher's job.
Peter, That's a suggestion that will create the exact result you are predicting. However, many other expectations and results are possible.
The elephant in the room is the possibility that some of the time all of the marketing in the world won't make a difference. For instance, it's not uncommon for uber-rich people to spend millions of their own money and still lose the elction for the simple reason that most of the voters preferred someone else.
Yes, there have been authors who spend mega-bucks on PR and marketing and their book goes nowhere in the long run. But the spending of big bucks does give the author a brief flash of "dominance", kind of like a Roman candle firecracker that goes off, then sputters out. The Amazon bestseller book campaigns are a prime example--people spending thousands of dollars to get to #1 in their category in Amazon for a period of less than 24 hours. In some cases, they're bumped from number #1 within two hours. Imagine $10,000+ spent for a couple of hours of being Amazon's #1 in your category, then plummeting....not a very good ROI in my opinion.