Who or What is New Publisher House?

I just love big numbers, don’t you? Especially when they have a dollar sign in front of them. Take this one: $52 billion. A good-sized number, wouldn’t you say? I mean, if you took 52 billion dollar bills and stretched them end-to-end, they would reach…um…a really long way. (Liberal arts major here, okay?)

Why my fixation on this number? A new, and somewhat mysterious, company called New Publisher House featured it prominently it in the executive summary of “State of Independence 2014,” its report on indie publishing: “The self-publishing book market in the US currently represents over $52 billion in untapped revenue. This is twice the size of the established mainstream book publishing market’s total annual sales revenue.”

Pretty cool, right? Except what does “untapped revenue” mean? And who or what is New Publisher House, anyway? The news release announcing the report refers to the company as “media technology firm.” Its founder and CEO, James O’Toole, is a mucky-muck in internet marketing in Australia.

I poked around a little bit at the New Publisher House website. Details, as they say, are sketchy, but it appears the company aims to sign up authors and author service providers, and give them an opportunity to meet up and do business together. That’s not unlike some other sites we’ve seen. The difference here, I guess, is that an author has the choice of either going it alone, or hiring an individual service provider or a team of service providers. Say an editor, a graphic artist, an ebook formatter, and a publicist all got laid off from their previous positions. If I’m understanding this correctly, they could band together and market their services as a package on New Publisher House.

This looks like a new effort, for all that the posts in the “Coffeehouse” appear to be almost a year old. The website looks pretty but the content is thin, and the information at the Resources tab is extremely basic. For that matter, I didn’t see much of anything in the executive summary of “State of Independence 2014” that I didn’t already know. The publishing industry is undergoing rapid change; people who have been laid off by media companies and go freelance will be major competition for their former employers; indie titles will be increasingly competitive with mainstream titles; and so on. No, really?

The rest of the report presumably includes the methodology for that amazing $52 billion number, but you can’t see it yet. The company plans to release it along with its Kickstarter campaign, which hasn’t yet begun. I had to give up my e-mail address to get access to the executive summary; I’m sure they’ll be hitting me up for a donation at some point.

So the jury is still out on New Publisher House. But I suspect “$52 billion in untapped revenue” means something along the lines of, “Let’s figure out a way for us marketers to get a chunk of that.”

Author: Lynne Cantwell

Lynne Cantwell grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan. She worked as a broadcast journalist for many years; she has written for CNN, the late lamented Mutual/NBC Radio News, and a bunch of radio and TV news outlets you have probably never heard of, including a defunct wire service called Zapnews. But she began as a fantasy writer (in the second grade), and is back at it today. She currently lives near Washington, DC. Learn more about Lynne at her blog and at her Amazon author page.

18 thoughts on “Who or What is New Publisher House?”

        1. You’re right, Massimo — it might turn out to be just the thing for indies. I’m waiting to see how much it’s going to cost us, and how New Publisher House plans to take its cut.

  1. Thanks for checking this out for us, Lynne. There are so many of these new enterprises that shout about their new business model, I can’t keep track. Everybody’s hopping on the ol’ publishing bandwagon. Sigh. I’m just gonna sit for a spell and see what rises to the top…

  2. Excellent post, Lynne, and it doesn’t surprise me that it is an Australian. This capitalist society of ours oozes malignant bloodsucking scum, just waiting for the right conditions to proliferate at the expense of others. Whenever I hear stuff like ‘potential, untapped market’ I shudder: imagining the vampire hoard circling a new, unsuspecting community!

  3. Hmm…as a fellow aussi, I hate to say it but this sounds a bit…suss. The idea of bringing service providers and authors together is nice in principle, so long as the matchmaking fee accruing to the company is not exorbitant, and not hidden in the small print.

  4. Here in NZ, we’re a bit ahead of the rest of you, even ahead of the Aussies for once. Ahead in what direction? Ahead in the speed of collapse of the publishing industry. Smaller ones either collapse, or merge into a bigger company and the bigger companies withdraw their kiwi tentacles back to Australia or elsewhere, while they’re not also merging with one another. A few indie publishers set up in their wake but not sure they’re doing much good. I see their books for sale on Ammie with lower sales rankings than my own.

    I was at a casual meeting yesterday with a bunch of ex-publishing company employees and authors and we sat around a table trying to work out what to do about it.
    I smashed up my car last week and had to get to the meeting and back via 25ks on my bike, walk, bus, sister’s pick-up, bus, walk, friend’s car, bus, walk, 25k bike ride. A 1½hr meeting took all weekend to get to and from. I was quite sweaty and smelly by the time I got home. Everything I needed had to be carried on my back so there was no room for changes of clothes.

    At the meeting, we plotted and planned and decided that there was a huge pool of well qualified people with terrific book-industry experience sitting around with nothing to do and plenty of good well-published authors with great books as well as up-and-coming authors with great books. Nowhere for any of them to go.
    The SP scene is not working. Too many good books sinking without trace in the great Ammie slushpond, leaving their authors desperately hoping for a job at the plastic bag packing factory alongside their old publisher. These people are being wasted. Their skills still have as much value as ever. We’re trying to work out how to sort it out and we have some ideas coming up.It won’t happen overnight, but we’re trying.

    So maybe watch the kiwi space to see if we get anywhere.

      1. Thanks Lynne. It’s only a car. No person or animal was harmed and that’s the main thing. I left the handbrake off and it went for an unscheduled downhill backwards trip into dense vegetation. It was full of my grocery chopping and not one egg was broken, but the door was ripped to bits.

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