Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Hachette: We Are Still Relevant!

This time I remembered to link to where I'm guest blogging.

Today, there was a leak of an internal Hachette memo on why Hachette (and, by extension, legacy publishing generally) is still relevant. I fisk it with Joe Konrath over at Joe's blog. It's pretty bad... but see for yourself.


Jon Olson said...

That's an interesting post. Why is it that the Big 6 responses to the eBook revolution are so off-kilter? Like Penguin's offer to have us pay to do what we can do for free, or this Hachette nonsense? It smacks of desperation.

jon o.
The Ride Home

Manuel Royal said...

Some good points in there. But, please, don't refer to commercial book publishing as "legacy publishing", an unnecessary term invented by self-publishers. Also, please don't refer to self-publishing as "indie publishing"; sounds amateurish. Independent publishing would mean that your book is put out by a commercial publisher that is not part of the Big Six; those independent publishing houses don't like being confused with self-publishing.

Barry Eisler said...

Here's Wikipedia's definition of "Legacy System:"

"A legacy system is an old method, technology, computer system, or application program that continues to be used, typically because it still functions for the users' needs, even though newer technology or more efficient methods of performing a task are now available. A legacy system may include procedures or terminology which are no longer relevant in the current context, and may hinder or confuse understanding of the methods or technologies used."

Whatever you want to call it -- traditional, Big 6, New York, mainstream -- old-style publishing still works and is still used, even as more efficient means have become available. This is the very definition of a legacy system, and why the term is apposite.

You raise a reasonable point about possible confusion between independent corporate publishers and independent self publishers, but practically speaking I think you're too late, and the term has already caught on.

James Goetz said...

Hi Barry,

The relevancy of the Big 6 lies with (1) their ability to adapt in the ever-evolving publishing industry and (2) the value of their imprints. For example, I doubt that Amazon will eventually acquire all imprints, but that could make an interesting premise for a novel. : -)



Perpetual Angst said...

As a consumer, the one advantage of buying from an established publisher is they have weeded out the bad writers in determining which authors to publish. I can't think of a single self-published author of note.
Once an author has achieved a following, switching to self-publishing may make sense because they have an existing audience, but establishing a foothold as a self-published author is very, very hard. I rarely buy any new independent writers because so much of the self-published material is crap.