Lissa Warren, a publishing industry executive, professor, and writer, recently pondered if readers really care who publishes a book anymore. It’s a short, but provocative blog post on publishing houses that don’t promote their brands. Here’s an excerpt:
As someone who has worked in book publishing for the past 13 years, I’m keenly aware of the different houses that exist in the United States and the kinds of book they produce. I can name a number of the bestselling titles at most of the major presses — or, at least, their most prominent authors or series. Keeping tabs on the competition is part of my job, and I take it pretty seriously.
But I have to admit that I don’t think the general consumer cares very much who is published by whom …
I read her post and felt optimistic. If you’ve actually contemplated writing as a living and have considered pitching your ideas or novels to publishers, then you know how daunting the process is and how important publishers seem. But, if the publishing house really doesn’t matter to readers, then publishing a book on your own holds just as much potential for financial and critical success. There is no publishing house barrier, only possibilities.
We may be entering a time when anyone can become a bestselling author, without a big publishing house behind the book. The kids born today may never need to rely on a literary agent or a publisher. I know that those of us at Blurb are aware of this possibility, but it feels like the rest of the world is starting to catch on.