Barry Diller and Scott Rudin Aren't Going to Destroy Publishing!

Mike Shatzkin, a “widely-acknowledged thought leader about digital change in the book publishing industry” (his bio), counsels that Brightline, Barry Diller and Scott Rudin’s new ebook publishing company with the fun and talented Frances Coady, “would appear to be poised to compete with major publishers for major books.” And: “Diller and Rudin, with their Hollywood roots, certainly have access to many of the great story-creators and storytellers.” True, but they have two bad choices there in order to compete: explain the finances behind ebooks to authors who are used to being overpaid — “Hey, you get 50%! Of something between zero and infinity dollars!” — or, overpay those authors up front, and we all know how that story ends. And! “Through connections to lots of people with marketing platforms plus the extensive network of connections through Diller’s IAC collection of web properties, they also have the capabilities to promote them.” True… but pretty sure and IWON®! aren’t going to sell any ebooks. Although — for singles over 50! — could probably move some units! The book market basically is lonely literate singles. Anyway, totally are on board with more people publishing as ebooks-only — there’s always room for one more! — and would totally put our money on Frances Coady too. But what’s the threat? It’s not like they’re going to “disrupt” publishing by… offering authors money to publish their books. And there’s always someone who wants to play big and who has maybe lost a little sense of the value of money due to have so much of it. It’s not like Tina Brown is ruining the Internet for the rest of us, after all.