Hello, its me again, drinking coffee, reading my morning emails. And look what new gem of wisdom I found, an article from Rachelle Gardner, an Agent who "partners with authors to bring worthwhile books to publication." Rachelle asks the burning question:
Rachelle very eloquently expresses the issues traditional publishers (TPs) have in allowing authors to self-publish simultaneously along with their traditional publishing business/contract. She's very succinct in making all these important points for consideration. Only an agent who caters to TPs and makes a living siphoning off an author's revenues would have the audacity to come out and say this publicly.
You see, Agents and TPs don't necessarily like the idea of their contracted authors going hybrid, and experimenting with self-publishing. Go figure.
Here's the list of issues Rachelle has with her contracted authors attempting to self-publish:
1. Branding issues. TPs don't want your self-published works to mess up the author and/or series brand they have painstakingly created. But it is your name, your novels, and your series that's been branded--right? Not. TP's probably have some fine print somewhere that you didn't even know you signed, that gives them some slimy toehold over your own name as BRAND. And who are you to go out in social media and use your own name without permission? Silly author.
2. Quality issues. TPs spend so much time, money and effort creating quality literature. All those poor unguided fools in self-publishing could never produce the same quality without them. And of course, your inferior quality self-published works might adversely affect your good name and reputation and BRAND, which they perceive to own.
3. Time issues. TPs want your time commitment. They want you to work for them. Not for yourself. Silly author, you thought you owned your own time! They have your name, your BRAND, they control your quality, and your time. Silly authors shouldn't be using their precious time to self-publish.
4. Promotional issues. TPs "don’t want your promotional efforts on your self-published books to eclipse their promotions on your contracted books. If they allow you to self-publish, they may lose their right to set boundaries on what you’re allowed to do promotionally, and this can be disastrous."
Oh the horror of it all! Heaven forbid you should compete promotionally with your contracted books, that's not fair. You might outsell them. You might make more money selling your self-published books than they pay you from your contracted books.
You might learn how to effectively promote and publish and sell your own books. And then what would you need them for?
This entire article is sickening.
Its about an agent who is losing books from contracted authors who are starting to realize they may not need to sign anymore of those shitty contracts with Traditional Publishers in order to publish their books. Obviously, some of Rachelle's authors are contemplating self-publishing. Better do your best to talk them out of it Rachelle, either that or start looking for ways to help them self-publish.
Maybe you could find a way to help your authors maintain quality. Maybe you could find a way to help your authors publish, promote, and sell their self-published works. But there wouldn't be any money in that. OOPS.
NOTE: I found this article, through Joanna Penn, who blogged about it, and sent out emails to all her subscribers (me too):
Joanna Penn is a wonderful woman who has successfully navigated the labyrinth of self-publishing and has published a wonderful series of novels. She regularly blogs on the publishing business, and ways and means of self-publishing successfully.
So, lets have it. Comments, complaints, rants, hate mail, nods of agreement. What do you have to say about this?