Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue


Publishing is Finally a Democracy; and Guess Who Has the Power?

It’s no secret that technology has leveled the publishing playing-field AND empowered writers/authors. I, for one, have followed and written on the publishing revolution since 2008.

But, I just love the following article by Keith Ogorek, the Senior VP of Marketing for Author Solutions. His visualization of publishing as an old dictatorial aristocracy, where an elite few held the power, being democratized and the power spread more fairly is simply excellent:

The democratization of publishing

Since its inception the publishing industry has operated like an aristocracy. An elite few held the power to essentially determine if an author’s work would be allowed in the public square. It was publication without self-determination for authors. For no matter how passionate or motivated an author was about his or her work, the fate of the book rested entirely with a few publishing houses. Those days, however, are over. Everything has changed.

Publishing becomes a democracy thanks to technology

In the mid-1990s, the convergence of three emerging technologies laid the groundwork for a revolution in publishing. First, desktop publishing replaced traditional typesetting, which meant an individual could design a book more quickly and cost effectively. Second, the debut of print-on-demand (POD) technology meant copies of a book could be printed individually at costs comparable to traditional, large offset runs. Third, the internet became a retail distribution channel. This leveled the playing field for authors who wanted to distribute their books broadly and cost effectively. These technologies, all developing at the same time, meant the elite no longer held the power. Authors now had it.

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Scribd Inks Distribution Deal With Indie Book Publisher Author Solutions

Filed under: 50% author royalty rates,Author Solutions,eBooks,publishing,Scribd — gator1965 @ 3:45 pm

Scribd, a social publishing site that helps writers get published, has already inked partnership deals with many major publishers such as Random House and Simon & Schuster. Now, they have inked a deal with independent publisher: Author Solutions (aka Author House). This deal allows authors to sell their books on the Scribd site and with higher royalty fees…50% for each sale. Interesting!

Robin Wauters of TechCrunch ( describes the details thusly:

Independent book publisher Author Solutions today announced a distribution deal with social publishing startup Scribd. Under the terms of said agreement, all new ASI titles published through the AuthorHouse, iUniverse, Trafford Publishing, and Xlibris will be made available for purchase through the Scribd website.

In addition, a portion of its backlist of more than 120,000 titles will be put up for sale on Scribd, although there was no indication of exactly how many books that represents.

In March 2009, Scribd had already scored partnerships with a number of major publishers, including Random House, Simon & Schuster, Workman Publishing Co., Berrett-Koehler, Thomas Nelson, and Manning Publications. And all that content is attracting a lot of users too, apparently.

In a statement, Author Solutions says the Scribd portal currently attracts over 50 million users per month, and that the startup’s platform will help authors make more money from book sales because it brings higher royalty percentages than are possible with traditional paper-and-ink books. In its promotion video, which I embedded below, Author Solutions says it has helped some 85,000 authors get their books published to date.

Under terms of the agreement with Scribds, authors will receive 50 percent of the net sales of their titles through the startup’s social platform. A default price of $9.99 will be set for each title, but authors will have the opportunity to set their own prices.

Distribution to Scribd will be included as a free service for all new ASI titles.

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