Have you heard the buzz about Cashmere If You Can? This book was produced by Saks Fifth Avenue in partnership with HarperCollins. So what does this partnerships mean? It means that Saks paid HC a publishing fee and an undisclosed share of the royalties. What? Let’s see if I get this straight. Saks is paying HarperCollins to publish their book. Ok. Now I get it. And everyone seems to think that’s ok. Interesting because these are a lot of the same people who thought authors who pay to publish themselves where bottom dwellering-desperates with no other choice and their manuscripts could well be eh, less than adequate. So, does anyone feel that way about Saks? I doubt it. Did HarperCollins suddenly become a self-publisher? Ha! Not likely. But the truth is, someone’s finally catching on to the one trend that seems to be working in publishing: let the author take some of the financial responsibility and please, let’s not couch it in fatalism, shall we? So there you have it folks, the trend that’s been looming for longer than most of us have been in the business is being touted as a grand holiday idea (and won’t that just make cash registers sing) and no one’s even questioning the motives of Saks. And why should they? It makes sense. You take a big name department store and cross it with a big name publisher and what do you get? A book that’s sure to sell like hot cakes (or crepes) to every Park Avenue-type toddler around the globe. And who will be next? Macy’s, Nordstrom’s, Target, you?
So authors take heart, this “deal” between Saks and HC is just one of many I predict that will soon set the industry on a new and exciting path, one it’s been on for a while but no one else but us visionaries is willing to admit. Dear authors, it’s nearly your time to play ball with the A team and soon you will no longer be shoved in the outfield with all the other “self-publishing desperates” but given your chance at bat and maybe even, a home run or two.
Reminds me of the uproar a few years ago over the Faye Weldon/Bulgari thing. I’m with Penny; at least everyone’s being up front about this. But how far will it go? Having a platform already is almost cliche when it comes to getting published… are we headed toward a day of pay for publish universally?
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