What can traditional publishers offer authors to keep them around?
January 24, 2014 | 6:23 pm
That is the unstated theme of a research report just released under the auspices of Digital Book World, “What Advantages do Traditional Publishers Offer Authors: A Comparison of Traditional and Indie Publishing from the Authors’ Perspective,” authored by Dana Beth Weinberg and Jeremy Greenfield. This is the same Dana Beth Weinberg, Harvard University alumnus and Professor of Sociology at Queens College at CUNY, who produced the very interesting research excerpts already covered in TeleRead, offering some very interesting insights into author attitudes and expectations. Now some of her broader conclusions are presented in full.
“With the stigma diminishing,” the DBW intro explains, self-publishing “has become increasingly attractive to both new and seasoned authors. However, the 2013 Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest Author Survey found that despite the excitement about self-publishing and complaints about traditional publishing, authors held a strong preference to publish with traditional publishers. This report seeks to understand why.”
According to DBW’s information on the unveiling of the report, nearly 10,000 authors took part, including “aspiring authors who had not yet completed or in some cases even started manuscripts as well as seasoned authors with multiple traditionally published and/or self-published books.” The worst news for publishers is that “most of the authors wanted to publish their next book with a traditional publisher. However, authors experiences with traditional publishing seemed to fall short of expectation, and authors were not overall highly satisfied with their experiences.”
That ought to make this report required reading for publishers. There’s just one slight snag: The research report retails for the modest sum of $295.00. I guess at that price, there won’t be too many indie authors ponying up for their own copy to find out what they may already know from their own experience. And some indie publishers might even be driven into bankruptcy by that amount, before they ever get the chance to learn how to attract enough authors to stay above water. It might even be more than many self-published authors will ever make from their labors of love. Still, publishing is a big business, and in some cases, clearly able to pay big bucks for research. Enjoy it, DBW.