Someone has probably suggested this before, but here goes:
In my best Haley Mills voice, Let's get together, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Two are twice as fun as one!
Why don't the traditional publishers just offer to bring self-published authors under their brand for a small percentage? *sorry, Dean Wesley Smith, but I'm trying to keep it terms they are used to.
Think about it. Self-publishing authors are business savvy men and women. We pay for our own covers, or have the skills to make them. We put together blogs/websites. We keep up with social media. We even hire our own line editors. Think of it like consignment.
The Big 6 Publisher doesn't need to do anything but allow a license for their brand. It helps a reader find the books they love, saves the Big 6 a ton of money (they only need a small staff of readers to offer a partnership to an author), and puts the onus on the author to produce a high-quality book. Instead of reading manuscripts in the raw production stage, judge them when they are ready to go to market! The 5-10% they make on the sales of the "self-published" is nearly pure profit! And let's face it, they need it.
What does the self-published author get? The ability to say "I'm with X Group," when trying to book appearances/market their book. A network of other authors to work with all under the same umbrella. The chance to be listed with fewer distinctions as an "indie book." The insane need to feel validated. :) More marketing mojo to sell the book.
Big publishers are going to have to open up their own self-publishing arm if they want to stay alive. These aren't authors whose hands you need to hold. They are willing and able to find success selling their books with or without big publishing's say-so. They are writers with strong, varied backgrounds that give them unique ideas and experience to make it in the book world. And it's what Amazon is already doing.
"CANCELLED" arriving SEPTEMBER 2011. A robotics engineer asks his business partner to marry him, but a previous one-night stand is having his baby.