From a Very Surprising Source…
Some of you may be familiar with Mike Shatzkin, the great traditional publishing apologist for the last decade or more. I honestly stopped paying much attention to his Shatzkin File posts four or five years ago. But I still sort of follow his comments at times.
It seems lately he just can’t ignore data anymore with indie publishing and with the blocking of the merger of two of the big five traditional publishers, he seems to be a little clearer on their position. And indie publishing and smaller publishers in general.
Mike spends a bunch of the November 2nd letter talking about how Ingrams is becoming the one major distributor (ignoring, of course, that we all most distribute our own books in our own ways, but can’t ask him to really wake up completely all at once.
I wanted to just quote him on one paragraph from his last post. He said, and I quote Mike Shatzkin,
“The inherently advantaged position of a title issued by an established publisher is diluted to near meaninglessness.”
Might want to read that twice.
Now the context of that was that traditional publishers used to have what he called “a moat” to protect them because they had the ability and money to put inventory in positions for quick sales. But Ingrams now has over 20 MILLION and growing titles in their Print on Demand program, mostly from indie publishers, that can be delivered in a day to anyone or any store.
With that, who cares about inventory in position. That just costs warehouse space and money. Oh, my… You would think that if traditional publishers would catch a clue their warehouse costs might drop. (grin)
So for those of you who still think that you need the fairy dust of approval of a traditional publisher sprinkled on your book, I think Mike just helped pull the wings off that magical creature.