Saturday, 8 October 2011

Just is...

So, another small publisher folded. I’m not surprised. Publishing, like any business, is just that. A business. Things happen – boom, bust, cash in, cash out, debtors, creditors, bad decisions, lousy decisions, best decision? Move on if you’re no good at business.

In my previous job, I worked with shit loads of debtors. There are those that have no clue what they’re doing and they get into trouble. There are those who are shonky dealers who don’t give a crap if they owe money because they have money and they’re not going to share it because if you were stupid enough to buy or invest from them then their theory is that’s your problem for being stupid. I’ve read many administrators letters, touchy feely lets all be one in this debt deed of company arrangements and I’ve sat in liquidators where the bottom line is ‘you’re getting stuff all.’

So, publishers going under? No big surprise. I believe – actually I know – the mistake new, small pubs make is by taking on multiple authors before they have worked out all the pitfalls and are ready to handle it with the time needed. Hence, Scarlet Harlot Publishing will only take on authors when I’m ready, satisfied and have the time. Otherwise, the Harlot’s doing very nicely thank you.

Your publisher gone under? Stop whining. Do two things. Assess whether the loss is worth hiring a lawyer. If it’s a couple of hundred dollars, I would write it off on taxes. But that’s me. I’m realistic. And two? Learn from it. Business - publishing – is not fair or pretty. Don't go into it being a sap.


Emptrix said...

Well said Amarinda. This is a very difficult time for almost all small businesses. It is also a time when large publishing houses and book sellers are sinking, with the exception of Amazon. Amazon will do well because they are so incredibly diversified.

As far as a legal battle, the costs to hire competent specialized counsel would be prohibitive unless one has many thousands of dollars at risk or can create a legal "class" it is not worth the time, money, anguish etc.

There are many reasons why self-publishing is having so much success. As readers we also see, in general, lower prices for good books. There is a lot of self-published garbage but there are also a significant number of good, well written books too. I do tend to get miffed when I see a self-published ebook for $7.99, same price as big publishers and brick and mortar stores, and hard copies. I have refused to buy two books this week for that reason.

Thanks for the forum Amarinda.

The only caveat I would add is that the authors should always make sure they have their work copyrighted!

Amarinda Jones said...

I absolutely agree the cost of ebooks is getting out of control. I keep my prices low and benefit from it.

Sandra Cox said...

Who went under?