Last week the Wall Street Journal reported that NewsCorp (owner of both HarperCollins and WSJ itself) was in talks with CBS (owner of Simon & Schuster) about a possible merger. This after last month Rupert Murdoch missed out on the major Penguin/Random House deal. If S&S and Harper come to an agreement, the industry will undergo even more consolidation. Given the new dynamic forming among these competitors, I wonder how long it will take before Hachette and Macmillan follow suit. (Someone mentioned their new company name should be “Machete,” which totally gets my vote.)
Speaking of S&S, they’ve just started a self-publishing arm called Archway Publishing. Ten years ago they would have sneered at such an operation, but nowadays major publishers are happy to take your money. And only for three times the amount you’d spend by doing it yourself. Their author packages range from two to fifteen thousand dollars. My advice? Steer clear. If it costs more than $500-750 total (per title), then someone’s taking advantage of you.