Turn the page

From an interview with Clay Shirkey in Publisher’s Weekly:

I think someone will make the imprint that bypasses the traditional distribution networks. Right now the big bottleneck is the head buyer at Barnes & Noble. That’s the seawall holding back the flood in publishing. Someone’s going to say, “I can do a business book or a vampire book or a romance novel, whatever, that might sell 60% of the units it would sell if I had full distribution and a multimillion dollar marketing campaign—but I can do it for 1% percent of the cost.” It has already happened a couple of times with specialty books. The moment of tip happens when enough things get joined up to create their own feedback loop, and the feedback loop in publishing changes when someone at Barnes & Noble says: “We can’t afford not to stock this particular book or series from an independent publisher.” It could be on Lulu, or iUniverse, whatever. And, I feel pretty confident saying it’s going to happen in the next five years.

 I don’t have to care about this stuff anymore but, boy, is he right. And it’s been obvious for a long time to those without a vested interest in remaining blind. But the real fun starts when a critical mass of publishers—and even particular authors—distributing digitally, can go right around Barnes & Noble. Where and how do you get your music?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *