karen_w_newton (karen_w_newton) wrote,

“It's a business”

That's what editors say when they reject aspiring authors' manuscripts. As in, "It's a business. If I don't think your book will make money, I won't buy it." Generally, with new authors, expectations aren't that high. You don't have to make buckets o' money, but you can't lose money, at least not more than once. Yesterday brought home a reminder that publishing is a business in the form of the announcement by Quartet Press that they were folding. The interesting thing is they folded without ever launching.

Also of interest is that their business plan included two significant differences from a traditional house: 1) no author advances, only higher royalties, and 2) no print books, only ebooks (they planned to add POD later). Even these innovative ideas weren't enough to overcome the high cost of starting a business— and possibly the difficulties of operating in the current economy.

Well, if they had signed any new authors who thought they were going to break into publishing with Quartet, my heart goes out to them. In this case, it's no longer a business.

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Tags: publishing

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