For a few years now I've been writing here on this blog and in a few other places that it's only a matter of time until we see a group of authors band together and start the first publishing company owned by and run by authors. I've used the United Artists model to describe it.
The truth is writers want to write. Not run companies. We don't want to be on the business side. But it's happening to us like it or not. How many articles have you read about what authors have to do now to market their books because their publishers aren't? Or how busy editors are and how books aren't being edited as well anymore? Or how poor the proofreading was or how ordinary the covers are?
The more it falls on the author to hire outside help to supplant or supplement efforts once the job of a traditional publisher while still receiving the same royalty, the more authors are going to question the model.
One solution is publishers changing their model.
Some have stared to do that. Roger Cooper at Vanguard has a lot of happy authors who are treated quite differently - no advances but guaranteed marketing budgets, higher royalties and a real say so in how things happen. Harper Collins has a new imprint that promises to do things differently.
Another solution is authors changing their model.
I've postulated that all it's going to take is 5 big names to get United Authors started - big so that the whole concept of self publishing is blown out the window and big because distribution is going to be one of the more complicated parts of this to work out. It's a new model. And it is on the horizon. And that horizon looks closer and closer all the time.
Enter David Hewson. David is, I think, one of the top 5 suspense authors writing today. A bestseller in the UK and abroad but not as well know here. His latest, The Garden of Evil was one of the best books I read this year (Stephen King - are you listening - If you liked Goddard - Hewson will blow your socks off!)
David and I have been talking about the publishing model being broken and why and how and what it means and he's written out the idea of United Authors way more elegantly and in detail thank I could.