Insights from a literary agent trying to keep his company and his authors out in front of a trend. Jason Allen Ashlock of Movable Type Management talks about the necessity of experimentation and the importance of having the right partners in the digital age of publishing (from Digital Book World).
We might embrace a less straightforward representation model, bring on the capable partners, and launch ourselves into a more networked management role, but we need the authors to bring their ideas, their insights, and their bravery. We need all the eyes on the market that we can get, all the ideas that we can produce, all the hands we can get on deck, and all the fearless enthusiasm we can muster if we’re going to experiment enough to stretch toward confidence and eventual expertise. We need our authors to be educated, curious, willing sometimes to lead and sometimes to be led.
“Children’s books make money: a good amount of money,” stated Jeff Gomez, CEO of Starlight Runner. “And the expectation on the part of publishers is that they won’t make that much money on the digital format. That’s a big stepping on the brakes for a lot of publishers.”
Over at the Good E Reader blog, Mercy Pilkington gives us a great overview of the panel discussion that opened the London Book Fair, stating that it “seemed to raise more questions than it answered.” The biggest hurdle? The cost, as in the price tag that comes along with the team of designers and programmers (and lets not forget the author, the creator of the actual content) needed to make an interactive book app.
Also of concern, and something I feel should be in the forefront of every children writer’s vision when utilizing new technologies, is how to keep the app from becoming a “robot nanny of science fiction stories.”
Still, the panel’s message to publishers was clear: “embrace digital or be left behind…”
In which Mark Mingle, Executive Director of Marketing for Tate Publishing, describes his industry as potentially “frustrating and defeating.” You think? And then reminds us writers that success doesn’t come overnight and often comes to those who don’t give up. So after six years of trying to break in, my time is coming right? RIGHT???