Self-publishing company Author Solutions, which has weathered a fair amount of scrutiny in recent months thanks to its alliances with traditional publishing houses, has released a video statement from its CEO asking for cooperation from three authors’ guilds. In the three-minute spot, Kevin Weiss calls for Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, and the Science Fiction Writers Association to join him for a discussion about “choice and opportunity” in book publishing.
Weiss specifically addresses the leadership of RWA, MWA, and SFWA, who have been vocal critics of Author Solutions’ partnerships with traditional publishers, most notably Harlequin and Thomas Nelson. “The debate was terrific and we need more of it,” Weiss says, noting that conversation needs to be more “open.” “Engage in a direct conversation with me and some of the folks at Authors Solutions,” he tells viewers, presumably in response to the largely online nature of the debate thus far. “Choice is under attack,” Weiss says, and he addresses a few of the hot-button issues traditional publishers face, including pricing and the pricing wars of late 2009, noting that hardcovers are facing “hard times.”
“I’m inviting the three writers’ guilds who’ve expressed the greatest objections with the partnerships we’ve established with traditional publishing to sit down with us and discuss how we can improve the opportunity for their writers and the choice for readers,” Weiss says. The video ends with the following words flashed across the screen: “First film. Then music. Now publishing. The next indie revolution.”