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Penguin Random House to Buy Simon & Schuster

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/25/books/simon-schuster-penguin-random-house.html

 

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For literary agents and authors, the wave of consolidations has meant fewer potential buyers for books from authors without a proven track record.

“There are projects that would have sold for $150,000 years ago that might not sell at all now to the big five, whereas the book that would have sold for $500,000 might go for a million,” said the literary agent David Kuhn. “They would rather go in bigger for the thing that they have the most consensus on.”

 

Some industry analysts say the sale will accelerate a long-running trend that has taken hold over the last decade, as publishers have grown more dependent on blockbuster titles and backlist sales, resulting in fewer opportunities for new writers and midlist authors.

 

The funny thing about this is that, despite pending lawsuits by Trump (which, frankly, were peanuts comparison to their overall revenue), S&S pulled 8% profit, and increased their revenue this year.  In my opinion, this is only going to force more up-and-coming authors into the self-publishing market, and hasten the demise of these major publishers.  Why?  Because blockbusters don't have staying power.  And if you're not seeding the ground for future talent, you'll be reduced to sniping from an ever shrinking herd of established writers.

 

I guess their current publishing strategies aren't paying off, huh?

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1 hour ago, Jeff Potts said:

In my opinion, this is only going to force more up-and-coming authors into the self-publishing market, and hasten the demise of these major publishers.  Why?  Because blockbusters don't have staying power.  And if you're not seeding the ground for future talent, you'll be reduced to sniping from an ever shrinking herd of established writers.

 

I guess their current publishing strategies aren't paying off, huh?

 

I think that is just wishful thinking, Jeff.

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4 hours ago, Jeff Potts said:

And if you're not seeding the ground for future talent, you'll be reduced to sniping from an ever shrinking herd of established writers.

 

I guess their current publishing strategies aren't paying off, huh?

 

Yeah, it seems that the major pubs are reluctant to gamble on new talent. Why? I think they don't have the monetary resources to invest in cultivating (marketing) a new crop of authors. It's much cheaper to publish an established name.

 

I predict that self-publishing will evolve into the new big-4 proving ground. That way they can sign (already) successful talent without having to invest dollars to build their brand. The big problem with this strategy is that many of those self-pub authors will be reluctant to sign, because they're already enjoying success (and higher royalty rates) without big-pub help. So that means these publishers will have to make a compelling case that they can make these authors even more successful. That will be an interesting development to watch. 

 

   

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18 minutes ago, Accord64 said:

It's much cheaper to publish an established name.

 

Kinda like the major Hollywood studios pumping out another, second-rate Star Wars trilogy.  It's a known entity, so they'll milk that cow until the udders fall off.  🙂

 

20 minutes ago, Accord64 said:

I predict that self-publishing will evolve into the new big-4 proving ground. That way they can sign (already) successful talent without having to invest dollars to build their brand.

 

I'm kinda thinking the same thing.

 

They wait until the see some buzz around a self-pub. book, then pick it up and market it.  They already have a head-start with marketing, and the actual publishing of the book is really nothing.

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1 hour ago, Jeff Potts said:

 

Kinda like the major Hollywood studios pumping out another, second-rate Star Wars trilogy.  It's a known entity, so they'll milk that cow until the udders fall off.  🙂

 

 

This is exactly what I was thinking. The last two decades of Hollywood have been mostly reboots and continuations of old franchises. 

The other thing this reminds me of is chain Christian bookstores right before they died. They had whatever was new from the top 10 Christian authors, and nothing else. Eventually the well runs dry. 

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27 minutes ago, Chris Brown said:

The other thing this reminds me of is chain Christian bookstores right before they died. They had whatever was new from the top 10 Christian authors, and nothing else. Eventually the well runs dry. 

 

I've got to disagree, Chris.  The well hasn't run dry, in fact it's overflowing with exciting Christian books.  The Christian bookstores are dying out because of online stores.

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2 hours ago, Jeff Potts said:

Kinda like the major Hollywood studios pumping out another, second-rate Star Wars trilogy. 

 

Oh, don't get me started on the decimation of Star Wars. I think they should lock up the writers for assassinating the character of Luke Skywalker, and Rian Johnson should walk the plank into the Pit of Carkoon for the abomination that was "The Last Jedi."

 

Phew, glad I got that off my chest...

 

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31 minutes ago, suspensewriter said:

 

I've got to disagree, Chris.  The well hasn't run dry, in fact it's overflowing with exciting Christian books.  The Christian bookstores are dying out because of online stores.

The well of the same small number of franchises is running dry.

 

Christian chain stores have mostly died out because they didn't offer any reason to go in to their stores. If someone wanted the same top 10 franchises they could just go online. Independent bookstores have increased over the last 5 years, because they offer something more than a sterile outlet for the same old thing. 

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12 hours ago, Accord64 said:

Oh, don't get me started on the decimation of Star Wars. I think they should lock up the writers for assassinating the character of Luke Skywalker, and Rian Johnson should walk the plank into the Pit of Carkoon for the abomination that was "The Last Jedi."

Wow, is it that bad? I haven't watched any of the Star Wars movies since Revenge of the Sith. With this report I definitely won't be seeking them out.

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18 hours ago, Jeff Potts said:

Kinda like the major Hollywood studios pumping out another, second-rate Star Wars trilogy.  It's a known entity, so they'll milk that cow until the udders fall off.  🙂

 

But that may explain why THE MANDALORIAN is such a smash hit and instant fan favorite.

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Which, in this discussion, should give those interested in indie publishing some comfort.

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On 12/2/2020 at 7:21 AM, EBraten said:

Wow, is it that bad? I haven't watched any of the Star Wars movies since Revenge of the Sith. With this report I definitely won't be seeking them out.

 

If you want to catch any of the newer Star Wars movies, skip 7-8-9, as well as "Solo: A Star Wars Movie," and just watch "Rouge One." It was the only one that really felt like a Star Wars movie, and it didn't ruin anything. It's a lead into episode 4 (New Hope), and explains how the rebels got the death star plans. There's a super cool end battle. Brought me back to Star Wars in 1977, and my childhood love of X-wing fighters. 😊

 

I also hear The Mandalorian is good, too. But I can't bring myself to subscribe to Disney Plus just to watch that.

 

 

 

 

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