Much has been made of the word disintermediation over the last couple of years in book publishing. Authors are selling direct to their readers, publishers are selling direct to consumers, for example, in an attempt to miss out the middlemen. The picture becomes ever more confusing with agents setting up as publishers and now in the last few days the news that Amazon are setting up their own publishing operation in New York, headed up by the former literary agent Laurence Kirshbaum. Meanwhile Random House have done a deal direct with the author Tom Sharpe to sell ebooks of his titles – on this occasion bypassing Sharpe’s agency Sheil Land Associates.
By contrast the self-published author, Amanda Hocking, who has sold hundreds of thousands of ebooks to Kindle users, has decided to sign up with a traditional publisher for her next four books. The deal, worth $2m for world English rights, sees Hocking signed up to Macmillan. The New York Times describes the books as being in the ‘young-adult paranormal genre’. Writing on her blog, she says that: ‘I’m a writer. I want to be a writer. I do not want to spend 40 hours a week handling emails, formatting covers, finding editors, etc. Right now, being me is a full time corporation.’