Publishers Must Justify Their Existence
August 12, 2011 publishingOne of the most powerful experiences I had at FandomFest (beside the heat!) was a talk called "The Role of Publishers in a Post-Paper World".
It was held by Debra Dixon of Bell Bridge Books and BelleBooks. What really struck me were two things:
1. Here was a publisher willing to take the time to point out exactly why they deserved their percentage, and show the results of it.
2. I needed to start stepping up my game.
If you've noticed the line I've been drawing between publishing services and being a publisher lately, it's largely thanks to Ms. Dixon. She did a great job articulating much of what I've been saying since then.
Luckily, she's done a few interviews that largely mirror the conversation that we had in Louisville. While I've not worked with her, she openly and transparently answers questions I rarely hear the Big 6 (or even small presses) even acknowledge.1
Again, following my credo that publishing is like investing, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. That said, I firmly believe that publishers (and those providing publishing services) must show how they add value just like she has.
Debra Dixon's Interview With Mike Duran (Part One)
Debra Dixon's Interview With Mike Duran (Part Two)
Debra Dixon's Q&A with Ciara Knight
1 This isn't to say I agree with all of her answers; for example, I disagree with her on DRM. But she treats the issue with respect and fairness, even if she doesn't agree with me.