The New York Times just ran this article Authors To Get Sales Data From 3 Big Publishers. Go read it. I’ll wait.
Two quotes blew off the top of my head. Here’s the first one:
Said Carolyn Reidy, President and CEO of Simon and Schuster:
There isn’t any place where they [authors] can go and get all of their sales figures. [ ] We realized that we can give them the knowledge we have.
I can just see the moment when the
lightbulb oil lamp went on in that meeting:
Publishing Professional (PP) #1 (very sad): Our authors are unhappy.
PP#2: (sits up straight, almost knocks over chai latte): What?
PP#3: Oh, come on. Why would authors be unhappy?
PP#1: Well, they’d like to know how their books are selling.
PP#3: But they’ll know in 2 years. What’s the big deal?
PP#4: Well, I’ve heard that about authors, too. I mean, that’s what their agents keep saying.
PP#3: I wonder what we could do about that?
PP#5: What could we do? We already prepare royalty statements TWICE a year.
PP#2: Does anyone have last week’s sales data?
PP#3: I attached the spreadsheet to the meeting calendar. Here’s my paper copy. (pushes across desk)
PP#2: Hey, thanks! Wow. This print is tiny.
PP#1: (Sits up very straight) Wait a minute! WE OURSELVES HAVE THIS DATA.
PP#3: What’s your point?
PP#1: Well, maybe, just maybe, we could share it with our authors!!!!
(More Stunned silence)
So the second quote is this:
Publishers didn’t realize the frustration that authors have.
Bullshit. It’s even bigger BS that they found an author to say that. Surely, he couldn’t have said it with a straight face.