aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

Read an interview with Sara Nelson about the future of the book

Sara Nelson, the books director for O magazine and the former editor-in-chief of Publishers Weekly, was asked a number of questions in a wide-ranging interview.

In part, she said, “I have seen in the last six months, the beginning of a sea change that probably should’ve started years ago, that publishers are starting to understand they can’t pay $3 million or half a million dollars for a book of short stories, however great the short stories are, because those books are never going to sell, and then that writer’s never going to get published again, and the whole system falls apart. Plus the publisher’s going to take a bath.

“So I think that publishers are learning that they have to look at other business models. I mean, there are some examples within the larger publishing community. Harper Studio is one that people talk about a lot that is a smaller advance and ahigher percentage of royalty to the author. There’s been a lot of grumbling about it, because their smaller advance is a $100,000, and I know people who work at Farrar Straus and say, well, big deal, I don’t pay $100,000 anyway. But at least it is the beginning of thinking about a different way of publishing. And one of the things that Harper Studio and that I see smaller and medium sized publishers doing much more than the big guys is understanding the author – and agent – but the author’s role in publicizing and distributing the book.”

Read more of her thoughts here.

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