I was notified by Macmillan Publishers about a shocking thing for a writer to bear. Macmillan Publishers had "partnered" with Pronoun about nine months ago with the idea of offering book printing options for writers since Pronoun only published Ebooks. This seemed a logical broadening of services since printing books are costly. I was skeptical about Pronoun being eaten by the big fish, but as time went on, this did not seem to happen. So I says to myself, 'huh, maybe this is a big fish letting the little fish bring in business to the book printing'. Maybe that was what it was in the beginning, or not that way at all. In any event, the big fish killed the little fish in the end. The official statement went like this:
"Two years ago Pronoun set out to create a one-of-a-kind publishing tool that truly put authors first. We believed that the power of data could be harnessed for smarter book publishing, leveling the playing field for indie authors. We are proud of the product we built, but even more so, we’re grateful for the community of authors that made it grow. Your feedback shaped Pronoun’s development, and together we changed the way authors connect with readers. Unfortunately, Pronoun’s story ends here. While many challenges in indie publishing remain unsolved, Macmillan is unable to continue Pronoun’s operation in its current form. Every option was considered before making the very difficult decision to end the business. As of today, it is no longer possible to create a new account or publish a new book. Pronoun will be winding down its distribution, with an anticipated end date of January 15, 2018..." Sincerely, Macmillan Publishers
It seems that in the big ocean of artistic creation, no matter what the form, big fish are always eating the little fish. In this case though, Pronoun wanted to give a leg up for all the little fish authors and writers that didn't have thousands of dollars to publish a book. While at the same time, giving up rights to their hard work. I'm not saying that traditional publishers are evil, but they represent a cast society where they get to choose who gets popular and who doesn't. Pronoun, and others like them, championed the little fish to nurture the creative juices that can be just as sweet and profitable. Yes, there are a lot of duds, but these authors are able to learn from their mistakes and go on to be much better writers and businessmen. You don't get that chance to learn with traditional publishers. They are interested in the cream of the crop. I understand this business model, since printing and marketing books are expensive. However, by only having this one outlet, you squash any services that can arise to help struggling artists because they have no reason to use them if their only choice is with these publishers. It is not capitalism, it is a monopoly. A monopoly is capitalism run amok. People need stand up to this wherever it is.
For my part, I am really sad to see Pronoun go. Only partly because of the free services that they willingly provided to me, but because another outlet for free expression was put out. I have since thrown my hat in with Smashwords, who have been around a while and have a good reputation. They offer similar help to the indie writer, but it is not the same. I will do what I must for myself and my readers, because people depend on me, and I won't let them down as long as I can keep typing.
What are your thought on this? Take a sec and drop me a line.
I appreciate any comments you might have on these topics. You can drop me a line at WatKnob Books or a comment below.
From my head to your head