Saturday, August 22, 2009

legacy publishers and Jane Friedman's next thing

I just came across the video interview at, of Jane Friedman and Larry Kirschbaum. It's 40+ minutes, but Samantha Ettus asks some good questions; it's worth watching.

Jane Friedman has just raised $3 million in venture capital for a new business, OpenRoad Integrated Media. No one seems to know what that is, exactly, just that a film producer, Jeff Sharp, and former HarperCollins executive, Chris Lederer, are also involved, and (guesswork) it's a multi-platform publishing and marketing company.

So, integrated media: books, films, webisodes, audio, etc. Lots of potential for things to be exciting and/or go horribly wrong. I wouldn't bet against Friedman, though. She was a brilliant CEO at HarperCollins, and I didn't disagree with a single thing she said in the interview. The legacy publishers are in for a very hard time. Mind you, I think Kirschbaum had a point when he talked about the entrepreneurial spirit inside those same behemoth corporations, and the economies of scale. The thing is, will the corporate overlords--the Bertelsmanns, the News Corps--be willing to wait, or will they just split? Whose patience is up to this task? I've said before that what Friedman terms the legacy publishers are doomed. It's the new publishers and the nimble independents who will carry the book banner for the 21st century.

I'm looking forward to OpenRoad dropping their stealth cloak and revealing themselves.

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