A series of live dispatches by if:book’s own Meg Vann from the O’Reilly Tools of Change Publishing Conference in New York City. Jason Allen Ashlock President, Movable Type Management
Disintermediation jettisons people from their usual roles: readers writers, publishers, distributors. What happens when the disintermediation is so complete, when all intermediaries are kicked out and only the writer and reader remains? The new rules aren't rules, they change consistently. The publishing revolution has created radical disintermediation then you need an agent who offers radical advocacy – get the work into the hands of readers/viewers...
If each independent author is not to start from scratch in trying to build a measured aggressive strategy, vetting and testing fees and services, left alone in the marketplace – then someone has to begin to mediate between the author and all those intermediaries. Publishing is now, more than ever, a team sport and allies are more important than ever in the noisy chaos of the current marketplace. Manage and limit the possible to the most wise.
Radical mediator agents are:
- Not narrow, but expansive – looks across the value web to find any possible intermediary to connect a writer with reader, and oversees the formation of those relationships.
- Thinking of them selves in a business development position – their role is to build partnerships and alliances
- Thinking about lifespans, not events. Marketing is continuous, not title-by-title.
- Able to disintermediate themselves by choice, so that they can stick with an author through all change and new opportunities.
Examples of how radical mediator agents can work with authors:
- Self-published authors: remain in control but agent brings other professional relationships to the table
- Author collectives: an agency can gather together writers that work together in a common genre or have a similar voice: create bigger masses with more weight – interesting example