Seth Godin is making waves in the publishing world today! He has stated that he is giving up on the traditional publishing and will pursue other distribution channels. I am finding the responses and comments quite intriguing and insightful. Some are arguing that Seth Godin isn’t a “real author”, others are saying “why should we care or listen to what he has to say”, and others are saying “yes” and “Amen”. Clearly, he has touched a nerve!
Unfortunately, many are focusing on Seth Godin or digital publishing trends, and not on the value that publishers need to offer. I strongly believe that the publishers are (and will continue to be) necessary for some authors and for some areas of content. However, to say that their value is equal for ALL writers is incorrect. There will be some areas where authors will be able to market and distribute their content on their own. Will this only be for well-known authors? It will definitely be easier for them, but I wouldn’t say categorically that that is true either. Will it be easier for how-to/advice/resource writers? Again, “maybe” is the only answer that is correct.
What I can say is that publishers will need to clearly articulate what they can do for authors and how working with them will increase an author’s chance of success and ultimately, recognition and rewards. With increasing amounts of “published” content, we will still need human filters and domain experts to filter out the noise. Publishers can and have filled this role — as trusted sources, trendspotters, and domain experts. The marketing and distribution tools of the publishing industry have changed and the path to the consumer is shorter. However, the ROLE of publishers may be more important now than ever!
What do you think?!