Are There Too Many “Middle Men” in Publishing?

In Discussion by Erin L. Cox

supply chain

By Erin L. Cox

Today’s lead story by Douglas Rushkoff describes his move from Random House to the much smaller OR Books. Among the advantages of working with OR Books he mentions in the story is the speed at which the publisher was able to bring the book to market and his ability to work closely with the actual publisher. He notes, also, that he wanted the books to be cheaper. “With the traditional publishing system, there are too many middlemen, and too many people needing to justify their place in the food chain,” says Rushkoff. “This ends up costing a lot of money, and ultimately costing a lot of time, too.”

Do you agree? Could the traditional publishing process be streamlined? At what cost? What jobs could be shed? And would this change translate to cheaper books for readers or simply lower fixed costs for the publisher?

About the Author

Erin L. Cox

Erin L. Cox has worked as Business Development Director for Publishing Perspectives. She is a Senior Associate at Rob Weisbach Creative Management, where she represents writers and handles publicity and advertising clients.