Almost 60% of traditionally published authors think that publishers have been lazy and uninnovative when it comes to matters digital, and almost 50% of them agree with the statement that “Publishers have ever less to offer. They don’t know how to market books anymore.” (Seriously, did they ever?) Only 25% thought that publishers treated authors well in non-financial ways, and a measly 7.6% thought publishers paid authors well. 16% of authors think conventional publishing will cease to exist in the next 10-20 years.
These results come from a survey released last month called Do You Love Your Publisher? Further commentary here and here.
There was one big plus for publishers. 70% thought editorial input was excellent or good, but only 50% thought publisher communications before, during and after the publication process were excellent or good. The wheels really came off on the question of feedback: “Did your publisher ever solicit feedback?” 74% replied “No,I was never asked for my opinion.”
On the subject of self-publishing, 24% of authors said they were excited by the prospect of having control, while 37% said they’d be “horrified” at the prospect.
68% reckoned Amazon was killing bookshops, 44% said it evades taxes, and 31% thought Amazon would like to destroy publishers. But 65% thought it was a boon to readers and 66% saidit was a “superbly efficient retail machine”.
In The Bookseller writer Sara Sheridan noted that authors are “100% invested in the book [they have] written”, while an “editor has a stable of books coming out in the same month or season and the reality is that they only need one or two of those books to make it big.” She added;
Corporate publishers are engaged in a kind of intellectual property gambling. In this environment, your precious book is less important to them than it is to you.