As a small but growing number of self-published authors find success without the help of a traditional publishing company, the value of traditional publishers is being called into question.
Sometimes it comes in the form of saber-rattling from the likes of J.A. Konrath, a very outspoken self-published author and self-publishing advocate, and sometimes it comes in the form of well-articulated, thoughtful and reasonable questions.
The publishers themselves have started advocating their own value. Two prominent examples: Random House has put out a series of videos discussing how it adds value to the publishing process and Hachette has put out a manifesto of sorts that describes how it adds value.
Sensing that some authors might be in play, self-publishing sites, too, have been jockeying to offer authors the lowest prices and most comprehensive services.
From industry consultant (and DBW partner) Mike Shatzkin’s blog, The Shatzkin Files:
The debate around whether author efforts with social media provide an adequate substitute for the marketing done over the years by publishers (a big component of which, of course, is exposure of the printed book in brick bookstores and we all know that’s declining even though it is still more than half the sale for most books) is really a proxy for a larger question: does the publisher add value commensurate with their share of revenues? Some bloggers frame the question artfully but one is too-often left with the feeling that they feel think the author and reader really don’t need much help from anybody else.
I’m pretty sure that’s rarely true.
Read much more at The Shatzkin Files.