Old Books and Big Names

When I first saw this article on the recent publishing phenomenon of old big name books being published for the first time, I thought it was going to be another “publishing is on its deathbed” piece. To an extent it is but not the way I thought.

The point I took away is that, while big publishers need to make money, being completely reliant on big name best sellers without cultivating new talent in mid-list could very well cause great harm to the publishers down the road.

The warning in the article states, “when authors (or celebrities) have built up enough of an independent fan base, they may well balk at accepting the standard 15% royalty on hardcover book sales or 25% of ebook sales, when they could earn up to 70% if they self-published. This is especially dangerous because publishers have become so reliant on the power of their stars’ brand names.”

True, not all big names or celebrities who write books will go to self-publishing but if enough do so, it will be publishers that are harmed rather than the authors or readers.

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