Monday, November 21, 2011

More on Book Country

Here's an article quoting a few self-pubbing heavy hitters about Book Country, Penguin's controversial new vanity/direct branch. Penguin was given the chance to respond, but to my eyes, their response is thin. "You can avoid line spacing issues in the finished e-book." Um, okay, but if I hire a typesetter, any typesetter at all, I expect to avoid these kinds of issues. And other typesetters are cheaper by a mile. So how exactly does this translate to added value? In fact, you can easily run down the list of benefits in the Penguin press release (on page two of the article), compare those to places like Createspace, LSI, etc., and see for yourself whether it's a good deal. And if you think this is the best deal you can get, then by all means, take it.



Jenny said...

One finds oneself wondering if all the big publishers will be morphing into vanity publishers because there is so much more money in that than there is in their traditional business.

The real issue that people should consider is that the big publishers have no experience in marketing directly to the customer which is what e-books are about. Their strength was selling to stores which requires an entirely different approach.

Edittorrent said...

Jenny, we're seeing that in agenting too-- suddenly some are becoming book packagers. It's weird. All the fundaments of the business seem to be falling.

We must keep dodging the previous rules and ethics as they crumble!


Edittorrent said...

Great point, Jenny. I would add that literary publicity is not at all like other kinds of publicity -- it's built around "same but different" instead of around product differentiation. So although trad pubs understand this and know how to work it, there will be a learning curve for them with direct sales.

The trad pubs will find a way through all these industry changes, but we're all going to come out looking quite different in the end. All of us are seeing changes in our roles.