Here are some snippets from the article by Frances Dinkelspiel:
When Kemble Scott walks into the Booksmith on Haight Street tonight, opens up a copy of his new novel The Sower, and starts to read to the collected audience, he will be committing an act of radical revolution. …On top of that, a publisher approached him about putting it out in print. Scott at first thought, no, that’d take too long. But then, he found out the publisher, Numina Press, uses POD printing, which meant “the turn-around time was a mere 29 days, rather than the year it usually takes to get a book out in print.”
Scott's previous novel, SOMA, was a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller. But he thought the subject and references in The Sower were so topical - think mentions of The Daily Beast, Susan Boyle, and more - that they would be out of date when a book published the traditional way was printed. (that might be as late as 2011)
So in May, Scott teamed up with the website Scribd, the on-line publishing company, to put The Sower on the Internet as an e-book. It sold for $2 a copy, and Scott was paid 80% of that price.
Scott liked that idea, so he decided to draw attention to the print book by treating it like a movie, and releasing it in selected markets.
So Scott has decided to make the hardcover edition of The Sower only available in Bay Area independent bookstores during the next month. If the response is strong, when The Sower is released nation-wide, larger chain bookstores will be more likely to take notice.Okay, I agree, this is a different way to approach publishing. But radical revolution in the publishing world?
Okay, a $2 e-book from a best-selling author who gets 80% of each sale. That’s fairly big. He’s going to be using POD printing for the print book - that’s not big. Lots of books are printed that way today. He’s getting his books out in local markets in independent stores in order to create buzz and attract a national market. Not big. Unknown authors do that all the time. They turn to their local markets to try to jumpstart the sells, in hopes that bigger stores in not-so-local markets will start carrying their books.
But it is good that a “big” author is, in a way, trailblazing some new ideas. Perhaps that’ll make it easier for the rest of us. But is this radical? Not particularly. Will it cause a revolution in the publishing world? I think that revolution had already started before he joined the troops.