Everyone knows publishing is broken, so Bookouture’s Oliver Rhodes, who was previously at Harlequin UK, seems to be focusing on authors, rather than their books. This is a good thing, because few authors know how to build their platform.
“For most authors outside the bestseller lists, traditional publishers simply arenâ€™t adding enough value to justify low royalty rates. And because authors arenâ€™t all experts in editing, design, or marketing, self-publishing doesnâ€™t get the most out of their books or time.Digital publishing offers incredible opportunities to connect with readers all over the world â€“ but finding the help you need to make the most of them can be tricky.”
Agent and publisher combined?
In days gone by, both the author’s literary agent AND the publisher were supposed to help an author to build their platform. Indeed, unless the author looked as if he’d be a prolific writer who would reliably turn out at least a book a year, no one was interested. It takes more than a book or three to build a platform.
Bookouture looks as if they want to take over the platform-building role.
As I said, interesting.
Here’s the thing. To do this well, Bookouture won’t be able to take on many authors. I’ve no idea what their startup capital is, but building platform is time-intensive. A literary agent shepherded an author through this process. It didn’t always work, because writers are contrary souls, and platform-building takes a high level of commitment from everyone involved.
I admit I haven’t done more than scan this website, but even a quick glance leaves you with many questions.
This is a new publishing model, and that’s a good thing, because the old one never worked for authors, although it kept publishers afloat.
Should you submit to Bookouture?
That’s up to you. My big concern is rights. What rights do Bookouture license, for how long? When do authors get their rights back if they no longer want to publish with Bookouture?
“Becoming a publisher has, I think, made me a better agent because I now understand so much more about how our industry needs to operate in an era of constantly shifting commercial assumptions. Until I started putting my money where my mouth is â€“ an agentâ€™s job could be described as asking publishers to put their money where the agentâ€™s mouth is! â€“ I didnâ€™t truly understand just what a tough business we are all in now.”
Publishing’s going through immense changes. As long as we’re all prepared to change too, books will survive. And that’s all that counts, right? 🙂
I love this article, it gives me hope for the future of publishing. We all have so many tools we can use now, there’s no point in kvetching about the state of publishing. Let’s be grateful and do the best we can.
I’m convinced the future of publishing is bright, for authors, for literary agents, and for publishers. Let’s all step out of our boxes.