Facing the Author

People keep talking about new models for the publishing business, but it's rare that I hear them actually articulate one.

Briefly, then, on the back of what would once have been a packet of cigarettes, but in this day and age is probably a stack of index cards in the style of 43 Folders' Hipster PDA...

Does the emerging digital market create a space for a publishing company which thinks of authors as clients or customers rather than as the basic commodity?

Such an outfit would be part agency, part publicist, part publisher, doing deals with 'agency model' and other electronic publishers, protecting the interests of author clients by keeping share of agency model revenues at the 70% mark, providing them with editorial services and publicising their work, taking a large percentage of the profits and encouraging them to exploit their other rights, and printing a paper edition which would be subsidiary to the digital one?

Point being, an outfit like Google sells advertising, which means actually that they sell audiences to advertisers. Such a company would be in a position to sell audiences to Google and negotiate pricing, so long as it had a decent product with range and a strong following.

Other models on a postcard, please...