Correcting the Publishing Imbalance

The influence that traditional publishers hold now far outweighs their power. It’s time to correct that imbalance, and restore the publishing relationship to a symbiotic author-publisher collaboration.

Not long ago, big publishers controlled assets that you needed. That’s why they got to be the gatekeepers to the world of publishing, and writers groveled for whatever scraps they might offer us.

But with the advent of digital technology, you don’t need a big publisher in order to gain access to markets and retailers. You don’t need a publisher’s big capital to print your book.

You can get your book out to retailers without them.  You don’t need their connections, you don’t need their logistics or warehouses, and you can market your own book (which, frankly, they would expect you to do anyway). With e-books and print-on-demand technology, the success of your book is not based on your financial ability to print thousands of copies up front.

Their power is gone. So why do we still tolerate their influence?

The power of the Big-5 publishing companies remains only as long as we collectively, voluntarily give them this undue deference.

So let’s stop, let’s correct the imbalance.

But that doesn’t mean that we should throw out the system entirely. The publishing process was carefully honed over decades, centuries even, to produce the best, most marketable books with the most precise and efficient application of energy. Your book needs that.

Your book still needs to be well written. Your book still needs to be well produced.

And that’s the vision that Boyle & Dalton was built upon.  Let’s correct the imbalance without reacting and rejecting all of the things we’ve learned.

We vet manuscripts for quality before we accept them for publication. And then we ask the author to contribute to the cost of producing the book.

In a traditional arrangement, as long as the publisher is fronting all of the money, they carry all the risk and once again sit in a position of power to dictate to authors what will and won’t be successful.  It is the publisher’s prerogative to only accept what fits their narrow profitability landscape, and to tell everyone else to go pound sand.

You want to contribute to the cost of the production of your book, not just because you’ll increase your royalty rate by 10x, but because it equalizes the power structure. It restores the author-publisher arrangement to a symbiotic relationship of collaboration, rather than an employer/employee relationship.

By correcting the financial imbalance, we can form a true relationship with our author as equal partners.

You have this manuscript that is good. We have these skills which will catapult your manuscript to achieve its maximum potential. We’re both taking a financial risk, and we’re both invested in the success of this manuscript. That makes sense, right?

And that’s how hybrid publishing with Boyle & Dalton works. And that’s how we can pay royalty rates that are 10x the industry standard rate.  And that’s how books like The Black Lens win Writers’ Digest annual grand prize.

We’re building the future of publishing. We’re building a new world, without forgetting the lessons we learned in the old one.

Today, we’re looking for new authors to partner with. If you have a manuscript, let’s start a conversation.

Photo by Murray Barnes – used with permission (Creative Commons)