Gigigfication

Are you ready for the future of the publishing industry?
https://thebaffler.com/latest/the-gigification-of-publishing-sinykin

Authors Equity's website presents its vision in strikingly neoliberal corporatespeak. The company has four Core Principles: Aligned Incentives; Bespoke Teams; Flexibility and Transparency; and Long-Term Collaboration. What do they mean by these MBA keywords? Aligned Incentives is explained in the language of human capital: "Our profit-share model rewards authors who want to bet on themselves." Authors, that is, take on more of the financial risk of publication. At a traditional publishing house, advances provide authors with guaranteed cash early in the process that they can use to live off while writing. With Authors Equity, nothing is guaranteed and nothing given ahead of time; an author's pay depends on their book's profits.

In an added twist, "Profit participation is also an option for key members of the book team, so we're in a position to win together." Typically, only an author's agent's income is directly tied to an author's financial success, but at Authors Equity, others could have a stake. This has huge consequences for the logic of literary production. If an editor, for example, receives a salary and not a cut of their books' profits, their incentives are less immediately about profit, offering more wiggle room for aesthetic value. The more the people working on books participate in their profits, the more, structurally, profit-seeking will shape what books look like.

"Bespoke Teams" is a euphemism for gigification. With a tiny initial staff of six, Authors Equity uses freelance workers to make books, unlike traditional publishers, which have many employees in many departments... Their fourth Core Principle — Long-Term Collaboration — addresses widespread frustration with a systemic problem in traditional publishing: the fetishization of debut authors who receive decent or better advances, fail to earn out, and then struggle to have a career. It's a real problem and one where authors' interests and capitalist rationalization are, as it were, aligned. Authors Equity sees that everyone might profit when an author can build a readership and develop their skill.

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  1. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Just when you thought wages in the publishing industry couldn't get lower... here comes a REVOLUTIONARY new business model.

  2. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Seems like a really shitty way to earn money as an author. Equity seems to be going for a type of low risk approach to make money. Their entire system to make equity only seems to work if two things happens, the author makes a book that gets popular, which then becomes long series and the other being a book doing so well that it can somehow keep the authors team afloat until another book is finished. This startup wants to transfer the risk to authors. If a book fails, instead of the publishing taking the entire loss. The blame will instead be put on the author and their team instead. Not sure how this will work in practice, but I can see some fishy malpractice going on.

    The worst fault though of this new approach to publishing is making authors' busineman/investors for the publishing house. This problem is multiplied if Authors Equity has a lack of specialization. If they can't live up to their claim on taking in authors with different styles of books with great team's that can hone on how to Market any sort of book. Then, the author is getting a worse publishing team with more finacial risk.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Yeah it's basically offloading all the costs and risks onto authors and freelancers, and calling it "equity". The site design looks like shit, it's not doing anything that other business models aren't doing (amazon print on demand and lulu being two examples), but somehow it has millions of dollars in institutional backing and dozens of puff pieces from different newspapers.

      What a clownworld.

  3. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >poach talented established authors from legacy companies
    >simultaneously hollow out and outsource the entire infastructure for training and promoting new writers, editors, graphic designers, etc. effectively kicking the ladder out from under them
    This company is the personification of the "frick you got mine" corporate drone mentality. Everyone involved deserves to die horribly in gulag.

  4. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The giggityfication?

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      heheh AWRIGHT

  5. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >freelance workers
    How does this work? Are they just going to hire people off fiverrr?

  6. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    40 minutes and already buried under 31 threads, I've never seen IQfy move this fast.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      They’re trying to hide it

  7. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Does anyone here even read books written in the last 80 years? Surely no one cares about publishing anymore.

  8. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    This is nothing new. One of these companies has been popping up every couple months for the past seven or eight years, and none of them have been successful.
    >Madeline McIntosh is at the top of Authors Equity as its CEO and publisher.
    >She graduated from Philips Exeter and Harvard before entering publishing.
    >She recognized already in 1994, as the New York Times put it,
    >“that the internet would irreversibly transform publishing.”
    Wow, such prescience.

  9. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >we've combined the low effort, low risk, hands off approach of amazon self publishing
    >with the high fees of traditional publishing
    >basically we get money for doing nothing except tricking idiot authors into thinking that we're indispensible

    i pray no one falls for this shit. I see absolutely zero value for writers here

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      But it's bespoke! Profit participation! Equity! Did I mention that the ceo went to Exeter? It's definitely not just a richgay vanity press, it's a sleek new business model.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        oh you're right i forgot about the buzzwords. my bad. sign me up

  10. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >The company has four Core Principles: Aligned Incentives; Bespoke Teams; Flexibility and Transparency; and Long-Term Collaboration.
    Stopped reading here. This type of woke corpospeak makes me want to fricking disembowel myself.

  11. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Why the frick do publishers even exist anymore when we live in an age where I can let you enter your debit card to download a pdf of my book from my website?

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Marketing and physical publication and networking, I guess. Oh and that sweet, sweet advance.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        If you want an advance payment just do what everyone else did and go to kickstarter or patreon to get paid before you finish your work.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      They take their cut for allowing you to be seen as a "serious expert" as opposed to a "hack amature" self publishing their crap online. Dont like it? Should have gone to Exeter or Andover you filthy pleb.

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