Here are a few facts from the Open Road panel.
Open Road named Rachel Cho its new Chief Marketing Officer. She stood up for a bow.
Moderator Carmen Scheidel asked, “are you hiring?” Friendman said at first, “We certainly are getting a lot of resumes. I wish we had more funding.” But then she added, “We will be hiring,” but cautions that she doesn’t want to grow too quickly. “We really have a very broad reach,” she went on. “We’ve definitely determined that there is a need for additional staff and we will be staffing up.”
The first Open Road titles, according to Friedman, should debut in March. She hopes to publish between 750-1000 eBooks next year, but insists that Open Road will maintain a small list. They will do 20 e-Riginals (they’re line of original eBooks) the first year, hoping for 40 the second. Right now, Open Road is thinking the suggested retail price for their books will be $14, but Friedman said the “We have to see what the audience will bear.”
During the Q&A, one audience member asked whether the notion of an author having to come to the publisher with a platform has changed. Friedman said that indeed it has: “We have the platform now…our marketing platform,” she said, indicating that Open Road will be able to take unknown authors with good books and “make” them.
Friedman kept saying that, by mining authors’ deep backlists, Open Road is “going back to the future,” which is odd. It’s more like bringing the past into the future, isn’t it?