The State of Publishing: The Sound of Ice Cracking

Yesterday I wrote about the possibility of small presses playing a key role in the publishing process – not as a filter deciding which books get published in the first place, but in their ability to make already published books more widely available.

IntoPrint is a good example of how this might work:

this small publishing house uses e-book and print-on-demand publishing to bring out-of-print books back into print. It was born of [their] realization that digital technology meant there’s no need for a book to stay out of print.

This small press handles digital conversion and e-book preparation. They also cover marketing. They give authors 50% (and higher) of the royalties and sign them to fixed-term contracts the authors can opt out of if things aren’t working well.

And they have no editorial staff.

Now presumably they can get by with no editors because the books have already been published. If they were looking at books that hadn’t been traditionally published, they’d likely require a layer of editing from the authors or build editing costs into the business model.

In any case this sounds like a great plan to me, in which authors and readers should both come out ahead, and IntoPrint gets paid for the value they’ve added rather than the gatekeeper function they’ve served. I expect to see hundreds and thousands of these little presses popping up, trying to find works that have been published (whether by a publishing house or an author) and could use some small press value-add to help the books reach a wider audience.

And in the meantime, might I suggest that the good people at IntoPrint take a look at the Great Brain Series by John D. Fitzgerald?

Image Credit: muqata.blogspot.com

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