I recently read something that referred to authors as entrepreneurs. It made a lot of sense. Though, I know many authors who would feel uncomfortable or even resist such a title. For those who have been in the writing business, particularly publishing, for any length of time, you realize a shift has taken place. There was a time when an author needed a traditional publisher for distribution and marketing. Today, the publisher looks to the author to present the idea, write the manuscript, market the book, and possess an established digital platform.
It makes sense to me why traditional publishers are so risk adverse. It’s a tough business. Unfortunately, it will continue to be for publishers who refuse to modify their established approach and are not courageous enough to blow the whole thing up and start over. The greater the obstacles publishers create for authors with a platform, an idea, and the stubbornness to spread that idea in written form, the more legitimacy they create for newer publishing models. In a sense, they are creating their own competition by refusing to embrace a new approach.
There is hope!
Not all publishers are holding off new forms and processes for publishing. There are certainly glimmers of hope in this crippled industry. Those who are making strides living at the intersection of traditional publishing and digital publishing recognize the author is responsible for:
- The idea
- The research
- The writing
- The marketing
- Their digital platform
Because of this, smart publishers are creating a new process that acknowledges the author’s decision to publish with a particular publisher was not his or her only option. Smart publishers are treating the author as a client and creating relationships built on mutual respect, trust, and collaboration.
For those publishers who refuse to modify or adapt their traditional publishing process, they will multiply their “new” goliath where the author maintains complete control of the process, copyright, and earns a significantly higher royalty.
I still believe in traditional publishing.
I have high hopes more traditional publishers will adapt in the future. I just hope it’s sooner rather than later.
If you could change one thing about traditional publishing, what would it be?
Ben Stroup is a content activist in a post-paragraph world. He is chief broker of opportunity at Ben Stroup Enterprises. Connect with Ben via email, Twitter, and Google+. Subscribe via email to learn how to use content to move people to action.