Breaking From Tradition
What are traditional book publishers not doing so well in your eyes?
Driscoll: I think traditional publishers are giant machines that are made to push books into bookstores, and then they hope that they sell. That model is changing. People are going to other places to get their books now. Publishers realize that. … But publishers are slow to adapt to a whole other method of distribution. For a niche audience, you can sell directly to them. It’s still a very best-seller [based] market, and I think [traditional book publishers] are losing a lot of opportunities for a lot of really good books. That’s our opportunity at iUniverse.
How does the CEO job at iUniverse differ from those of your peers at the traditional publishers?
Driscoll: Most of my job is dealing directly with authors. People in my position at larger houses have others to do that. They’re many steps removed from the author. There’s a publicist or a publisher who deals with that. … I get to be involved. That’s the part of publishing I love best.
It’s much smaller. It’s not the same size infrastructure. … We don’t have to worry about receivables with wholesalers. The whole industry has been turned upside down. Big publishers have to worry so much about whether the wholesalers will pay their bills. We know when we print our book, there’s going to be a buyer for it. In that regard, my job is
How does iUniverse’s relationship with Barnes & Noble work and what are the benefits of that relationship?
Driscoll: It’s a strategic alliance. [Barnes & Noble CEO] Steve Riggio is the chairman of our board. We get a lot of support from Barnes & Noble. We learn a lot from them. It’s a really positive relationship that’s allowed us to put books into stores.