Thanks to Twitter, where I get all my news, I found this little piece on Slashdot:
“David Streitfeld reports that Amazon is aggressively wooing top authors, gnawing away at the services publishers, critics and agents used to provide. ‘Everyone’s afraid of Amazon,’ says Richard Curtis, a longtime agent who is also an e-book publisher. ‘The only really necessary people in the publishing process now are the writer and reader,’ adds Russell Grandinetti, one of Amazon’s top executives. ‘Everyone who stands between those two has both risk and opportunity.’ But publishers are fighting back at writers who publish with Amazon. In 2010 Kiana Davenport signed with a division of Penguin for The Chinese Soldier’s Daughter, a Civil War love story, and received a $20,000 advance. In the meantime Davenport packaged several award-winning short stories she had written 20 years ago and packaged them in an e-book, Cannibal Nights, available on Amazon. When Penguin found out, it went ‘ballistic,’ accusing her of breaking her contractual promise to avoid competition, canceling her novel, and suing Davenport to recover her advance. Davenport knows her crime: ‘Sleeping with the enemy? Perhaps. But now I know who the enemy is.'”
Quite interesting, no?
The post on “Sleeping with the Enemy” is especially interesting. Interesting, in this case, meaning absolutely ridiculous! To be berated by a publisher for self-publishing other works! Oh yes, I say the publishers are scared. And this is what I have to say: GOOD.
It’s about the author, after all, not the publisher. Perhaps if the publishers were paying authors a living wage (i.e. $20,000 advance spread out over 12-18 months in payments, is not a living wage), authors wouldn’t be publishing their formerly NY rejected titles on Amazon in the hopes of not only getting to readers but to supplement their income and pay some bills.
NY needs to get over itself.
2 Comments Add yours
This is such a sign of the times. Grandinetti has it right: in the end there are only the authors and the readers that matter. The ability to self-publish is both a boon and a bane to most publishers. If they had the proper mindset and wherewithal to actually step up to the current use of technology, they could be making a proper killing on authors who are ready to self-publish. But, that is not their schtick, is it? A century of holding the power makes for a hard habit to break. I’m with you, Christine. And, with all those other authors who only want to be heard and read. To those power-hungry curmudgeons in the failing publishing paradigm, I’ve but one thing to say: tough noogies!
Tough noogies is right! And you are also correct about their mindset. This could be a win-win for authors and publishers! Seriously!!! But they’re just greedy is all, and it’s a shame. If their greed and closed-minded ways makes them fall, then they deserve to fall.