“The business race is on to have the relationship with the reader,” says Seth Godin, explaining why he’s ditching his traditional publisher and moving to print-on-demand (POD).
Also quoted by Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg in the article in the Wall Street Journal was Mark Coker, chief executive of Smashwords Inc., an e-book publishing and distribution platform based in Los Gatos, California: “It’s going to make a lot of other big authors sit up and take notice,” he said. “There are a lot of authors with fan followings.”
Trachtenberg’s summary, paraphrasing Coker, is one with which I heartily agree: “As e-books account for an ever-larger percentage of total units sold, the distribution advantage of having new titles in bricks-and-mortar bookstores will have to be weighed against the potential financial advantage of retaining ownership of a new book and distributing it as an e-book or on a print-on-demand basis. Midlist authors—those who are successful but not best sellers—who receive minimal marketing support from their publishers may be tempted to follow Mr. Godin’s lead.”