Ebury m.d. Rebecca Smart said that traditional publishers need to “shout from the rooftops” more about the value and investment they provide for authors.
Smart was speaking at The Bookseller's Author Day after several speakers voiced frustration with traditional publishers on a number of points including author care, long-term investment and renumeration. She said that “she did not recognise” the traditional publishers that had been portrayed earlier in the day “but part of that is that we as an industry are not as always good enough at shouting from the rooftops” about the good things publishers do.
Smart argued that book publishers had “preserved income for our creators more than any other creative industry in the digital era”, but acknowledged that they needed to change to be more responsive.
Publishers can “build a creative eco-system” with the author, Smart said. She added: “Together, we really have to make noise to cut through the masses of other media.”
A publisher like Penguin Random House can use things such as its scale, brand and staff to invest in an authors career, Smart said.
She added that Ebury was interested in the long-term, not just after quick hits and that the collaborative approach between publisher and author can lead to positive results. Smart cited an example of cookery bloggers Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley, whose The Art of Eating Well became a success as a result of Ebury marketing and publicity teams working in concert with the authors, with the book going on to sell over 100,000 copies.