Monday, October 17, 2011

Publishing News Flash (Go Back to The Old Way)

This just in: Harper Perennial has figured out how to fix publishing; don't give writers big advances. Here's a highlight:
Harper Perennial’s model isn’t unique, but it’s an intriguing case study in what an imprint needs to do to distinguish itself in an increasingly stratified market. What it does is innovative and exciting, but also traditional. The imprint nurtures young writers, orchestrates creative — occasionally quite elaborate — marketing schemes, and packages its content in gorgeously designed paperback originals.  There is no star system, no bidding wars, no big names...and the imprint keeps its costs down by offering most writers modest advances for first novels and debut story collections.
Well, I do have to say that the Blockbuster, Super-Star, MacDonald's Cheeseburger Model of publishing did pretty much fuck us over, those of us who were never going to get a 6-figure advance. So, maybe it's not so terrible to scale back the horrors of capitalism-gone-mad. Seems like they've just gone back to the old way of publishing books and making them attractive to readers.

1 comment:

wait and see said...

I'd prefer to have my book come out as a cheaper paperback instead of a hardcover. I'm the kind of buyer who waits for paperback anyway. Hardcover is such a needless expense and waste of materials. So, good for Harper Perennial for being brave enough to buck that out-dated publishing tradition. I think it will do a lot to boost first-run sales.

About the advances though...I'm sure the would-be Dan Browns and Stephenie Meyers aren't going to like it, and there's no guarantee Harper Perennial will use the saved money to promote more non-super-stars. The block-buster model is bad for most authors, but if they just cut advances all around without buying more books, that's going to be even worse