And whittling away at your client base, is the meaning that I take away from this imbroglio, as reported by member Lynn Osterkamp on her blog, Populist Publisher. I’d love to make $15-20,000 from any of my books in one fell swoop, even if it was as a ghost-writer for someone embarrassing like Paris Hilton or whoever has racked up enough notoriety for the panjandrums of the literary-industrial complex to think it worth a contract and a fat advance. Money is money, even if it is for the labor of transforming a sows’ ear into a best-selling silk purse. It’s being paid for writing, for pete’s sake. Working from home, in a pair of sweats; sure as hell beats telemarketing or digging ditches.
Ghost-writers like the Penn Group are doubtless seeing their source of income threatened – at some remove, admittedly – by the ability of anyone who thinks they have something to say choosing to spend their money on a POD edition and a little free-lance publicity. It’s change, change in the way things have always been done; always threatening to someone with an investment in things continuing as they are. Kind of stacking the deck, though – in picking four not very appealing books and presenting them as ‘typical’ POD productions. Ah well, no one has put any comments on the Penn Group blog post about this matter, so that indicates something.
That, and Harper Collins new imprint, doing something a little like the typical POD publishing house: no advance, royalties only, non-returnable, on-line sales. Presumably they will be a little less focused on the celebrity and mega-established-writers. (more discussion here and at Populist Publisher
Signs of the times, signs of the times. Slowly and almost imperceptivity, the publishing world is changing, and changing in a way that is to our advantage.