Earlier this week, publishing house Hachette leaked an internal document to Digital Book World that explains why publishers are relevant.

The document calls self-publishing a “misnomer” and defends the role of the publisher. Here is an excerpt from Digital Book World: “Publishing requires a complex series of engagements, both behind the scenes and public facing. Digital distribution (which is what most people mean when they say self-publishing) is just one of the components of bringing a book to market and helping the public take notice of it.” The document goes on to outline the work that publishers do including curating, brand building, selling and distributing books.

Author J.A. Konrath, a self-published author who has sold more than a million eBooks through the Kindle book store alone, responded to this post telling publishers to get their act together. In an email sent to Digital Book World, he wrote: “Publishers should stop trying to convince themselves and others that they’re relevant, and start actually being relevant. Here’s how: 1. Offer much better royalties to authors. 2. Release titles faster. It can take 18 months after a book is turned in to be published. I can do it myself in a week.” Follow this link to see his entire email.