Outsights on Publishing

Caleb Mason is the founder and publisher of Publerati, a hybrid ebook publisher and literary agency start-up, which employs a unique socially-responsible business model aimed at using ebooks to help spread literacy. Caleb also writes fiction under the pen name Don Trowden, author site here.Earlier in his career, after working in bookstores, and at Little, Brown, and then co-founding Salem House publishers, Caleb left publishing for several other industries disrupted by change. These include the photo industry and map/GPS industry. Having experienced those shifts, Mason has formed a unique perspective on the digital changes ongoing in the book industry. He shares that perspective in his blog "Outsights on Publishing."

Let me preface this by saying I run a literary fiction micro-publisher operating much in the mold of how full-service traditional publishing has for years, although because my overheads are so low, I pay my authors 50% of print and 70% of ebook royalties, something I realize large publishers cannot do. As self-publishing continues evolving,…

An algorithm recently bought me a Father’s Day present I didn’t need or ask for, using my own money. You see, my wife was buying sheets from Amazon when they presented her with the book The Arm by Jeff Passan (HarperCollins) as a Father’s Day suggestion. $27.95 later my charge card was hit with the…

The news from American malls just keeps getting worse, with long-time anchor stores Macy’s, JCPenney, and Sears reporting ongoing closings and bad results. Yet, we heard a leak earlier this year from General Growth Properties, one of the largest mall operators, that Amazon might be opening 400 mall stores. They quickly retracted this leak, but…

How do you know if what you’ve created is worthwhile? In my experience, it has to pass the “good enough to steal test.” Business owners, authors, artists, and musicians don’t like to hear this, but it’s true. The fact is the majority of goods and services produced do not actually meet this benchmark of success.…

Now is better than later because later might never come. Among the many tragic losses related to the above wisdom, one of the most trivial revolves around the topic of shopping behavior. (Apologies to the Maharishi inside us all.) And this matters a great deal in the world of books, where we know from our…

One of the most fascinating aspects of new technologies is how they open doors for new business models. And this is very true in the evolving world of book publishing. The book publishing model has many challenges, most notably how the established system of author advances, large superstore preorders, and returns limits what will be…

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