Sunday, September 14, 2008

Same as it ever was

New York Magazine (one of my favourites) hears the bell tolling yet again for the traditional publishing model.
The key graf is below, but the whole article is worth a look.
I'm fighting a cold, it's three in the morning and I don't have any answers but as I said...

"So publishing ends up looking like a mini-Hollywood, but even more dependent on sleeper hits and semi-reliable franchises. Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code buoyed Random House tremendously in the past five years, but with Brown’s sequel delayed, sales were down 5.6 percent last year. When Simon & Schuster announced that sales were off almost 10 percent in the first half of ’08, it cited the 2007 success of The Secret as the reason for the relative shortfall. Other companies did better—but on the strength of surprise hits. Sales grew 11 percent both at Penguin and at Hachette’s U.S. division, largely on the backs of two authors—Oprah-touted self-helper Eckhart Tolle at Penguin and Stephenie Meyer at Little, Brown.
Morgan Entrekin remembers meeting Larry Kirshbaum, then-CEO of Time Warner Books, right after two of Kirshbaum’s books had been anointed by Oprah in 1999. “It’s like winning the lottery twice,” says Entrekin, “but Larry didn’t seem that happy. He said, ‘Now my bosses are going to expect me to do better next year.’ ’’ Kirshbaum eventually left to become an agent."

Hey we've got a huge hit. Uh oh.

Posted by David

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