In a recent blog post, literary agent Nathan Bransford wrote of on-demand printing and distribution:
“No warehouses, no catalogs, no print runs. Online vendors, as we’ve seen, will sell anything. In this scenario, does the Author of the Future, especially one with a built-in audience, really need a publisher? Well… yes. Maybe.”
Bransford goes on to argue in favor of the author/publisher relationship, stating that the role of the publisher lies in the dirty work – copy editing, cover design, distribution, marketing, etc. We know that writing and publishing is often the easy part – the real execution comes in getting books effectively into the marketplace. That is where real self-publishing options stand out. Be prepared to pay for the services you and your publishing consultant determine best suited for your goals. In the long-run, you’ll thank your self. And so will the readers who have the privilege of enjoying your work.
Bransford: “But publishers would have to be extremely author-friendly — they would be providing a service, not relying on their traditional role as gatekeepers and distributors. Publishers won’t be able to rely, as they have traditionally, on the fact that authors need them in order to reach their audience, just as authors won’t be able to rely on publishers losing money on most of the books they publish.”
Keep your eyes and ears open. Self-publishing is on the way.
– Karl Schroeder