"This poses an interesting question: what does Publisher 2.0 look like? The publishing world is struggling to remain relevant. Here are a few things that occurred to me as I walked around the Javits hall.1.
Publisher 2.0 is a marketing house first and foremost. The promise to authors is easy: unless you’re really good at marketing, we’ll help you market in exchange for a cut of the revenues. This would mean the publisher has a robust audience that attracts authors who simply don’t want to market themselves. The more of the marketing services an author uses, the more the publisher gets of the revenue split.
2. Publisher 2.0 is a skills house. Want your manuscript in iBooks, Kindle, and Nook, but don’t know how to do it? Publisher 2.0 has people who do the work for you, either at a set fee or a percentage of revenues if you sign with them. Want an audio book? Publisher 2.0 hooks you up and finds you a reader if you don’t feel comfortable on a mic. Want an iPhone app? Publisher 2.0 finds you a developer.
3. Publisher 2.0 is a quality check. The downside of independent publishing is the same as its upside: anyone can publish. That means books filled with garbage, with incorrect data, with grammar that would make your third grade teacher put away her 12 inch ruler and slap you upside the head with a granite yardstick. Publisher 2.0 is a quality check that has editors, correctors, and proofreaders helping do what your friends won’t: if your book sucks, you will know, and then they will help you make it better.
4. Publisher 2.0 is a service, rather than representation unless you want it. Rather than sign your rights over to them, you simply hire them like any marketing firm. It also means that they can work for a fee for service rather than be saddled with your works and vice versa. If you have the cash in hand, you can pay for the service outright, or you can take out a loan and be represented by them which is effectively what a book advance is anyway."
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