This is an article from Publishing Perspectives covering the inaugural Publishers Launch London conference recently. One of the quotes that stood out to me is relevant to last week's discussion about cover design. Jonny Geller of Curtis Brown says:
“The reason we have so many jackets looking the same is that publishers will say 'oh, we can’t choose that one because Tesco won’t like it'”
It's easy to wave at the rebirth of self-publishing in this digital era and dismiss the traditional publishing industry's contributions, but:
Stephen Page, Chief Executive of Faber, suggested that publishers perhaps don’t do as good a job as they could of communicating to authors the value publishers offer. “We forget the difficulty of the remote position that writers occupy.”
This hearkens back to the discussions we've had here about the perceived value of the digital container, and so highlights a deficiency in the publishing industry - communications. I'd hazard a guess that traditional publishing houses have not had a requirement to explain themselves for decades, nor any dearth of quality submissions. It seems to me that in a world where authors have increasingly varied avenues to publishing, they really need to improve this aspect if they want to continue to attract the best talent.
The article also contains some perspectives from both sides regarding territorial rights and the place of digital formats.
Read the rest of the article here: http://publishingperspectives.com/2011/06/authors-what-are-publishers-doing-for-us/