“I’m out of the advance business and I’m out of the inventory business”

Just watched a 6-minute interview with Jane Friedman, former CEO of Harper Collins. She’s now CEO of Open Road Media, a publishing company she co-founded to so she can play exclusively in the digital space.

Key things in her remarks that caught my attention:

She describes advances and inventory as the two things that caused her most stress when she was in traditional publishing. Little wonder: an advance is a gamble and inventory is a huge cost-burden.

She describes her new digital venture as entrepreneurial. From her lips, that’s code for “I believe there’s a lot of money to be made.” One source: author’s backlist titles. “Backlist was always something that completely interested me.”

She places a huge emphasis on her new company’s ability to market its authors. I find this interesting because as we know from reading writers like Dean Wesley Smith and J.A. Konrath, that writers no longer need “publishers” for . . . you know, “publishing.” So what’s left for “publishers” to do? That would be marketing.

She envisions ebooks as multimedia. “We are bookending the text with video.” “Enhanced biographies” embedded at the end of some ebooks include text, video, photos etc.

Here’s the vid.

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