Sonntag, Mai 15, 2005

The Low-cost Book Publishing Venture of Macmillan (Holtzbrinck Group)

On Guardian News Online today Robert McCrum (The Observer) quotes the novelist Hari Kunzru calling Macmillan, one of the largest book publisher in UK, as the

Macmillan 'the Ryanair of publishing'

bashing a recent move of Macmillan, part of the Holtzbrinck Group headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany.

Under the heading "Publishers swap taste for marketing tricks" Robert Mc Crum writes:

"... Last week, the heirs to this once-great imprint launched something called New Writing. From a distance, this initiative might have been mistaken for a blue chip publisher's courageous act of patronage, part of the noble quest for new authors etc.

On closer inspection, the New Writing scheme suggested that the days of taste and literary discrimination at Macmillan are over. Worse, this wheeze appears to have emanated not from the deepest counsels of the editorial department, but from marketing and distribution. Old Daniel Macmillan must be spinning like a top.

Briefly, Macmillan proposed to offer a fixed, low-cost contract to unsolicited first-time writers. No advances. On-demand print runs. A standard £15 cover price. Minimal editing. Cheap (sorry, 'imaginative') marketing. ..."

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