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Sep 4, 2010

A Writer Defects

Seth Godin "defects" from traditional publishing. Ouch!

In a significant defection for the book industry, best-selling marketing author Seth Godin is ditching his traditional publisher, Portfolio, after a string of books and plans to sell his future works directly to his fans.

The author of about a dozen books including "Purple Cow" said he now has so many direct customer relationships, largely via his blog, that he no longer needs a traditional publisher. Mr. Godin plans to release subsequent titles himself in electronic books, via print-on-demand or in such formats as audiobooks, apps, small digital files called PDFs and podcasts.

...One of his many concerns about the current publishing market is that the process often takes 12 months or more to get a new title into the hands of his readers.

...Mr. Godin said he would hire a top-quality editor and someone to format the work for electronic distribution. "After those fixed costs, your idea is packaged as you want, and it can then be put on sale next to other potential best-sellers on Amazon and elsewhere," he said. "The business race is on to have the relationship with the reader."

Godin also said that the main people who need publishers are writers who don't know who their audience is yet, or who need a platform to connect with their readers.

Notice the paradox? The publishers are turning away more midlist authors who have no platform, and banking on big names to keep them afloat. But it is really only the midlist authors with no platform who need publishers.


Brad Jaeger said...

Seth Godin is a hack.

Tara Maya said...

I'm not a hack, but my pen name is. ;)

Deb and Barbara said...

I remember there was a lot of discussion at the ABNA site about paid editors vs publisher's editors. The consensus seemed to be that the publisher's editor would always have more love and investment for the work than someone you were paying.


Tara Maya said...

On is an editor you choose (you buy her work), one is an editor who chooses you (she buys your work). So do writers have less love for editors they don't choose (publisher's editors) just because of that? I don't think it's that simple. And either way, money is involved, so let's not pretend either model involves moving to a hippie commune and singing kumbaya. Hopefully, you can establish a respectful, working relationship either way.

And hired editors do sometimes fall in love with the work they are editing. Look at the new agent Weronika Jańczuk. I believe she started out doing editing for hire, and some of her first clients were people she edited.

Michelle D. Argyle said...

Great info here, Tara. It's interesting to see the big sellers moving on to self-publishing. On one side it ticks me off because it seems to be harming traditional publishing, but on another side it's good for supporting self-publishing. But if you ask me, Seth Godin isn't "self-published" in the traditional sense of "going indie." He's already made it big. He's established. That's not really being "indie" if you ask me. It's frustrating that a lot of people see him self-publishing and think they can attain that same kind of selling on their own.

Ban said...

Been on vacation - again ... missed so many posts. Hope I can go back and read all of them but the eldest hasn't started 2nd grade yet so I'm guessing 'NOT' and I'm stuck starting from scratch with recent posts!!!
Interesting BTW and I'm glad Michelle made that point. Hopefully people without his following won't burn bridges they can't re-build (should they want to that is :)