When I speak to friends in the music industry they often lament the fact that it isn’t like the old days where the record label got behind you. 

In this new world - and I think that book business is not far behind - you have to create your own audience and if you’re a band and you’re touring you might get a label to pick you up, but there is nothing to stop you from putting it out digitally and posting it on iTunes.  It is quite simple to do. 

So I think in the book business we’re not far behind, that discoverability though is still really, really hard and that’s why you do need marketers whether you’re a great marketer yourself or you associate yourself with other great marketers like a record label or a book publisher.  

But I do remember when we published Stephen King.  One of our executives was asked, “Well what does Stephen King need you for now?”  And the answer is marketing and publicity and packaging.  These are the things that a great publisher digital or otherwise provides. 

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

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