The DAILY BEAST article is quoted in DIGITAL WORLD  and requoted in PASSIVE VOICE.

 

It gives a dire forecast for its future:

 

 

Even if you’re too young to remember companies buried in this graveyard, or too unsentimental to mourn their passing, it nevertheless makes for depressing reading and offers scant comfort for agents and their clients wondering how they will navigate the new landscape. Especially because smart money says there are more mergers on the way.

. . . .

  • Trend: The large publishing houses will continue to reduce overhead as profits shrink in the years ahead.
  • Counter trend: Publishers will be looking for mergers and acquisitions to compensate for those shrinking profits. The Big Six could be the Big Three within five years.
  • Trend: These companies will continue to focus more resources on fewer titles…Title count at the largest houses could drop by as much as fifty percent over the next five years.
  • Counter trend: Self-publishing will grow exponentially.
  • Trend: In terms of advances, the amounts paid for brand-names will continue to increase, with seven-figure or eight-figure acquisitions commonplace among authors with established track records.
  • Counter trend: The six-figure advance…will become a rare species within the decade.

. . . .

  • Trend: The agent of the future will become more of a business manager who handles every aspect of an author’s career.
  • Counter trend: Publishers will create free-standing departments whose services can be purchased a la carte by authors.

 

(The last item is already happening).

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I knew I should have been a painter.

Well, I hold on to the hope that self-publishing will eventually pay off.  I also hope that the changes for the big publishers will produce new companies who will give a better deal to their authors.

(Meanwhile I grumble.  Just got an "unearned" royalty statement for ISLAND OF EXILES from Penguin. No wonder I only made a few hundred bucks in 6 months.  They only pay me 15 % for an e-book sale, and their prices run at 12.99.  Who pays that much for an e-book?  This is designed to keep authors in bondage forever.)

I agree. With self-publishing, you are in control, at least, and may well make some money. Also, I think marketing for self-published books will improve and give excellent writers a better shot at the money.

Gosh, I hope so.  As for the marketing:  isn't that something we are supposed to do?  Or are we pinning our hopes on Amazon?  The latest on that is that Amazon is also a business.  Their support goes to the biggest sellers  (no change there!), and they also include e-book best sellers from publishers now. 

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