That’s the theme of this post and the very last post on this topic for a bit. There’s always things changing, but I think I covered the majority of things, except this last topic.
I’m seeing – sometimes in the shadows, sometimes more overtly – a convergence in publishing.
Here’s a few examples:
Harlequin Hiring Backlist Managers (also other big publishing companies)
If you don’t know the players, here’s the basics. LMBPN is an independent originated science ficiton and fantasy publisher that now publishes more books than Baen or other ‘traditional’ publishers per year. They’re moving into foreign right deals and film and TV deals, often the mainstay and advantage of trad pub.
Orbit is one of the big scifi & fantasy publishers, and they’re creating a digital only publishing arm open to slush pile submissions. No indications if there are advances, or any other editing support but… yeah.
And lastly, Harlequin (and I believe Harper Collins and a few others) are hiring people to focus entirely on backlist management, something indies have been preaching to one another for ages.
What are all these things speaking of? A convergence of techniques and principles, where organisations on both sides steal from one another. Some of the biggest indies are getting to the point where previously untouched aspects of traditional publishing are becoming viable.
At the same time, trad pub is beginning to relaise some of the same things that indies do is well worth following.
It’s quite clear that neither side will be good at what they’re picking up. Not at first. Though ‘purchased expertise’ is quite viable (hiring ex-editors, ex-agents, ex-indies, etc.).
What does it mean? More competition of course. But also more options for making money.
I wouldn’t be surprised at seeing co-operatives or standalone agencies and organisations tapping into the growing demand. Agencies that focus on foreign rights for indies, print companies that will work with indies at smaller numbers, Kickstarter distribution companies helping indies ship out books to readers and publishers and, yes, indies being hired back onto publishing companies or acting as consultants.
Call it a foretelling of the future. And expect it be as accurate as most of these predictions always are (i.e. not great).
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