This was in the news today...a lot of trad publishing jobs will be lost. Another dinosaur...
Yes, it's definitely a 'rich get richer' situation. Before too long, Brandon Sanderson will be a publishing house unto himself. I suppose, effectively, he already is. He's definitely prolific enough.markpauloleksiw said:Before writing, I spent years working in Finance. Companies sadly take advantage of rough times to make decisions to consolidate and downsize that they were planning to make anyway. Things like pandemic gives them a reason so they feel or seem less "dirty"...but truth is this has been coming for a while.
I checked out sales numbers in the Teen and Young adult category for 2020 (they were listed on Publishers Weekly)...the top novel had more sales than the 2nd novel on the list by a factor of 10! Pure insanity...it is either going to be celebrity/famous people or established money makers who get the deals.
The trads will be pumping out the same stuff now over and over again...until people stop buying.
This article claims the merger is a competitive response to Amazon's market dominance -- https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/11/penguin-random-house-simon-schuster-monster-about-amazon/617209/.jb1111 said:One wonders: is it the economy, the rise of independent publishing, or both that is driving this consolidation?
I think these mega-publishers offer a lot leniency to their famous stable authors in that those authors don't really have to come up with something new, fresh or really different, but rather just come up with something. Could be a rehash of something done before, covering old ground or just some plot-less dribble. It's the name game and nothing says that better that the giant font size of the author's name over that of the title of the book. They take it for granted that these fans will buy the next big one from that big author. It's an auto-buy. The Land of the Painted Caves comes to mind--what a crippling blow to the serious fans of that multi-book legacy. Redundancy ad nauseum. If complacency is allowed to rule, we won't get anything new because it won't be encouraged. Editors will look the other way--their jobs might even get a lot easier.Flying Pizza Pie said:Could be sour grapes on my part, but I've been disappointed by the content of at least half of the print books I've read in the past couple years, from The Girl on the Train, to Grisham's Grey Mountain, Camino Island, and The Whistler, to the last few Stephen King issues. At least "Girl" was from a newer author, but releases from older authors like King, Grisham, Robin Cook (the list goes on) pale in comparison to their earlier novels.
Unfortunately, because many publishers have been reluctant to sign new (yes, especially mid-list) authors, they have become overly reliant on old favorites, and those aging authors can't produce what they used to. So, HMH, PP, S&S, you reap what you sow. Fail to plant, you got no crops to harvest. Serves them right.
Ah, so they are going for the market of books that people feel like they are supposed to read. Stephen King aside. He's cool. Maybe I just don't get who is buying these presidential/first lady books. They feel like pure vanity. Like, what can you really get from reading a lopsided, semi-fictitious glimpse into a real person's life? The story either won't be true or won't be explained. The ending is public knowledge. The lessons will be whatever they think you want to hear. And the entire thing will come from somebody who just realized one day, words+pages=easy money.chrisstevenson said:From the Italie/Jordans article Seattle Times:
"Under the new company, authors would range from John Grisham and Stephen King to Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. Every living former or current American president, from Jimmy Carter to Donald Trump, will have published a book with the new company. So will first ladies such as Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush and Michelle Obama."
From the perspective of a fiction writer, I didn't need to read an author lineup like that one.