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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Do We REALLY Need the Publishing Industry?

Sylvia Day - Successful
Hybrid Author

Sylvia Day, the very successful hybrid author, thinks so. In an interview with Jeremy Greenfield she said "the world cannot survive without the publishing industry."

Why would a successful hybrid author (self-published AND traditional-published), say that? Why would she want to put up with the TP snail-paced, undermanned and generally inefficient business model after experiencing success doing things on her own - much faster?

Well the truth is, according to my own humble opinion, she does NOT think "the world cannot survive without the publishing industry."

She meant to say "the world cannot survive without "a" publishing industry. A huge difference. The difference between "the" and "a" is the same as between broken/inefficient and improved/competitive/viable.

Am I putting words into Ms Day's mouth? Perhaps. But, maybe not. You decide from reading the following interview (with links) in Forbes.com:

What Publishers Need To Do In The Era Of Self-Publishing

According to best-selling hybrid author Sylvia Day (Bared to You and over 40 other published works), “the world cannot survive without the publishing industry”

Perhaps a confusing message coming from one of the pioneers of self-publishing success. Day sold hundreds of thousands of ebooks self-publishing titles that had previously been published by traditional publishing houses and also creating original works. She moved more than half-a-million copies of Bared to You, the first book in her successful Crossfire series, before selling the rights to Penguin. The series has gone on to sell nearly nine million copies in all formats and the upcoming title, Entwined With You (out June 4) has already pre-sold a million units.

Still, despite her enormous success doing much of it on her own, Day sees the publishing industry as a necessity today for several reasons:

1. Provides a print distribution channel for books: “The publishing industry provides a viable channel which enables a wide distribution of books that we’re not seeing in any other way. Unfortunately, self-publishing doesn’t have that…. The paper book is still alive and well. It’s still there but getting to that requires a distribution network that we don’t have yet for independent.”

2. Not all books deserve to be published and widely distributed for mass consumption (despite that the tools now exist to make that a reality for many authors): “Some of the gatekeeper functions that we have in New York are also important.”

3. Foreign sales may be dependent on a publishing industry to manage the complexity of licensing, distributing and marketing overseas: “And because of foreign sales – they are still dependent on how books perform in the U.S. As the foreign market opens – and it is opening – a lot of publishers need to have a U.S.-based partner in order for them to adequately market titles in their territory.”

4. Last but certainly not least, the people: “I’ve worked with 12 different publishers and have worked with some of the best people in the industry. These people are repositories of information about books and the industry, likes and dislikes, and you need that vibrant community. Booksellers tie into this of course.”

Related: Q&A With Hybrid Author Sylvia Day

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