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Posts Tagged ‘simon and schuster’

Kurt R.A. GiambastianiIt’s a sad fact of life, but publishing is a business. Not only that, it’s a cutthroat business. So is bookselling.

With profit margins shrinking and the sudden surge in e-book sales, the entire industry is in an uproar, and nowhere more so than in good, old brick-and-mortar bookshops. Frankly, aside from a recent visit to the Mecca of Books (a thoroughly unsatisfactory visit, too, I might add), I can’t remember the last time I was in an actual bookstore.

Well, it just became a shooting war.

Stephanie Burgis, author of the beloved Kat books for young readers, recently posted about major developments between Simon & Schuster and Barnes & Noble (lots of ampersands there…sorry). She refers us to articles posted in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal (both of which are worth a read), but here’s the bottom line:

Barnes & Noble has reduced [Simon & Schuster] book orders greatly, to almost nothing in the case of some lesser-known writers.

This, in my opinion, is the death-knell for B&N. If they don’t back off of this stance, I give them five years, at most.

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Yesterday, several writers I know—professionally- and self-published both—went ballistic at the news: Simon & Schuster Join with Author Solutions to Create Archway Publishing

Why the furor? Why is this such a bad thing? Two reasons.

Reason #1: Conflict with Writer’s Rule #1

Writers Rule #1: Money flows toward the writer.

When you’re self-publishing, this is a hard rule to keep. Remember, though, that when you’re self-publishing, you’re wearing two hats: Writer and Publisher. Money flows toward the Writer, but the Publisher has some up-front costs. But how much up-front cost is too much? Most writers don’t know, are naifs in the wilderness of the writing/publishing ecosystem, and are in general insecure about the whole “business” side of their business. (more…)

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