Author Alan Jacobson Shares his thoughts about Norwood Press
When Norwood Press first told me they
were thinking about doing a crowd funding campaign for my next
hardcover, I knew nothing about
Kickstarter. During the next several
months, they concluded it presented an extraordinary opportunity to
remake the publishing landscape.
Next year I mark my twentieth year in
the business. These past two decades have seen the most turbulent
years publishing has known since the mid-1400s when Johannes
Gutenberg started the Printing Revolution: large publishing houses
devoured smaller ones like sharks in a food-starved ocean and equals
merged to eliminate competition, attain economies of scale, and
preserve their profit margins at a time when commodity prices of
publishing essentials—ink, paper, fuel, and real estate—rose
Competition for eyeballs increased
thanks to the Internet, blogs, game consoles, texting,
smartphones—you know the deal. Readership declined, publishing
costs continued rising, and the industry was left with an inefficient
business model: middle men and distributors added substantial cost to
the books you buy in the store—and booksellers and publishers
consolidated further to try to stay afloat.
All the while, Amazon rose from nothing
and changed retailing, lowering the prices of books; independent
booksellers couldn't compete and many closed their doors. Borders
stumbled repeatedly with catastrophic business fumbles before
ultimately going out of business, and Barnes & Noble struggled to
weather the recession, closing dozens of stores and firing scores of
community relations managers. The rise of eBooks put additional
pressure on publishers and remaining independent booksellers.
Against all this, Norwood's John
Hutchinson presented the idea of
Kickstarter. For a novel by a
national bestselling author? I've seen it all in my 19 years in
this business, but I hadn't seen that. John was on to something.
Once eBooks and digital readers entered the realm of publishing and
became mainstream, I knew that publishing was going to change every
six months—because the technology behind it changes every six
months. New things would always be lurking around the corner. So why
not use Kickstarter to publish a first-rate novel?
As John said (have you seen his
brilliant video? If not,
), this is a chance to give the reader a say in
what gets printed. To those of you who haven't yet backed the
campaign, give it another look. The perks for supporting it are
phenomenal, and even if you've already bought my books in the past,
a signed collector's edition like Norwood publishes make an awesome
holiday gift come December—which will be here before you know it.
So sign on and give this "revolutionary" campaign a Kickstart!
author of "No