The Reality of Publishing Economics Has Changed for the Big Players
A veteran agent who was formerly a publisher confirmed a point for me about how trade publishing has changed over the past two decades, particularly for the big houses. This challenges a fundamental tenet of my father’s understanding of the business. (And that’s the still the source of most of mine.) I had long suspected this gap had opened up between “then” and “now”; it was really great to have it confirmed by a smart and experienced industry player.
One of the things that I took from my father’s experience — he was active in publishing starting in the late 1940s — was that just about every book issued by a major publisher recovered its direct costs and contributed some margin.