‘Either neutral or horrified at the thought of taking control’
My favourite line in my good colleague Philip Jones’ early look at traditionally publishing authors’ responses to the ongoing survey was just that:
When asked about the possibility of self-publishing, only a minority of authors were excited at the prospect, with the majority (75%), either neutral or horrified at the thought of taking control.
#AuthorSay is the hashtag associated with the “Do You Love Your Publisher?” survey of traditionally publishing authors mounted by UK-based author Harry Bingham and US-based publishing analystJane Friedman.
Whatever we learn about how much authors may or may not love their publishers, it seems a good bet that they’re fond of this survey.
At last report from Bingham, more than 630 traditionally authors had weighed in, and we’re just reaching the Ides of You Know What, dear Brutus, which is the halfway mark in the survey’s life: if you’re a traditionally publishing author, you have the rest of this month to make your views known by filling in the survey.
After that, the survey will be closed and The Bookseller will produce exclusive coverage of the results on 10th April, in time for London Author Fair (14-16 April).
In his write-up, Authors ‘more committed to agent than publisher,’ Jones brought forward some tantalizing, very early returns that I can bullet for you here. And then I’ll offer you a round of commentary culled by Friedman for us from early responses.
Broad satisfaction, yes, but…
Some early glimpses, courtesy of Jones, of input from traditionally publishing writers completing the survey:
- 75 percent: “either neutral or horrified at the thought of taking control’ by self-publishing
- 33 percent: published by a Big Five publisher
- 20 percent: published by a “large trade publisher”
- A majority of early respondents: “had published six or more titles”
- 50 percent: “had self-published at least one title”
- 25 percent: “reported that they had ‘seriously considered’ self-publishing
- 80 percent: “happy with their cover design”
- 70 percent: “happy with the copyediting received”
- 39 percent: “said they would move” to another publisher “if a similar house came along with the same deal”
- 31 percent: indicated that they would stay with their current publisher if that similar deal were offered by another
- 45 percent: said they would stay with their current agents if offered a chance to move to another
Those are, remember, aggregated findings from a very early look into the data, thanks to Jones and Bingham. Much more to come.
And now, let’s look at some of the actual comments coming across in the survey.
By Porter Anderson
Read the full post at: TheBookseller.com/futurebook