Last Thursday, in a post about the Harlequin Horizons debacle, I wrote this:
The idea that all of these novice, amateur and un-published professional writers are suddenly going to take advantage of self-publishing tools has got to be making traditional publishers both mental and green with greed.
Today, Richard Curtis writes this:
With so much money being thrown at subsidy publishers, and with the blessing of mainstream publishing, the evolution of vanity from the margins to the center of the publishing universe is complete. The erosion of traditional gatekeepers like reviewers, critics, newspaper book editors, and other refined literary tastemakers makes it clear why even a conservative publisher might lose its head over the prospect of all that money – and be tempted to go into another racket.
Publishers go where the money is. For a long time the money was in gatekeeping, and particularly in gatekeeping the content-distribution process. The internet ended the ability of publishers to dominate distribution, so they are looking for new revenue sources, including partnering with (or getting in bed with, or joining in abusive practices with) the very vanity and subsidy publishers they used to decry.
The idea that publishers are victims of anything is now dead.
— Mark Barrett