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Is Publishing Dead? Wubbit’s Founder Says No

January 17, 2011
CINCINNATI—Jan. 17, 2011—Over the course of just a few years, the $40-billion industry has hit hard times. Most fingers point to the birth of e-books and e-readers as the source of the industry’s woes, but Blaine Loomer says the real culprit is the antiquated business model used by most of the nation’s publishers.

“Many authors gave up on making money on their books a long time ago,” says Loomer, creator of Wubbit.com and an author himself. “They use their books to promote their businesses and to obtain speaking engagements, not as a moneymaking tool. When the checks are being handed out, they’re at the bottom of the totem pole.”

Loomer believes the publishing industry would be better served by advocating for authors—after all, these are the men and women who drive their business. What’s more, he believes it’s possible for them to do so while getting back in the black—without cutting jobs or sending them overseas.

His solution? Wubbit.com: the first e-commerce platform of its kind to connect customers, authors and bookstores all in one place.

Loomer says he came up with the idea when, after 20 years in the commercial software business, he decided to change gears and write a book.

“I quickly ran into a sales and distribution model in the publishing industry unlike anything I had ever seen in all my years in business,” says Loomer. “What I discovered was a convoluted system designed to benefit a few large companies and squeeze every penny out of consumers, authors, and small bookstores. Instead of living with the current system, I gathered some software heads together to see if we could change it, and Wubbit.com was born.”

But to understand exactly how a new business model will benefit the industry, it’s important to first understand exactly where its problems exist. Below Loomer provides a blow-by-blow description of the factors threatening to sink this industry:

PUBLISHING PROBLEM 1:
Authors assume all the risk and reap virtually none of the rewards. The authors, those individuals who drive the publishing industry, suffer even greater losses than the publishing industry itself. Because of the current cost/reward structure, the authors are the last to get paid. And after the distributors and retailers get their cuts, there is little to nothing left over for them.
 

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