Seth Godin ditches mainstream publishing. Why you might also want to.

“The business race is on to have the relationship with the reader,” says Seth Godin, explaining why he’s ditching his traditional publisher and moving to print-on-demand (POD).

Also quoted by Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg in the article in the Wall Street Journal was Mark Coker, chief executive of Smashwords Inc., an e-book publishing and distribution platform based in Los Gatos, California: “It’s going to make a lot of other big authors sit up and take notice,” he said. “There are a lot of authors with fan followings.”

Trachtenberg’s summary, paraphrasing Coker, is one with which I heartily agree: “As e-books account for an ever-larger percentage of total units sold, the distribution advantage of having new titles in bricks-and-mortar bookstores will have to be weighed against the potential financial advantage of retaining ownership of a new book and distributing it as an e-book or on a print-on-demand basis. Midlist authors—those who are successful but not best sellers—who receive minimal marketing support from their publishers may be tempted to follow Mr. Godin’s lead.”

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