Why bestselling author Tony de Bree stopped writing and publishing management books with and for traditional management book publishers in 2020.

Good morning, after the release of ‘Groeien zonder te groeien. Succesvol ondernemen in de betekeniseconomie’ in 2020, which was on the Longlist for Management Book of the Year in The Netherlands, I decided to stop writing and publishing management books with traditional management book publishers. Why?

There were several reasons for that:

✔️ I lost creative control. When you sign a contract with a traditional publisher, you essentially hand over control of the content, the cover design, and the marketing of your management book.

✔️ I had to write overly thick management books. For several reasons (including the price they can charge), you have to write overly thick management books as an author. That means: 200 pages or more. In most cases, that is not necessary at all.

✔️ I received low royalties. Traditional management book publishers usually pay authors royalties between 10-15% of the net sales of their management book.

✔️ The publication process was slow. It can take months or even years to publish a management book through one of the major traditional management book publishers.

✔️ It is difficult to get published. Traditional publishers receive thousands of proposals for management books annually, and only a small percentage of these proposals are accepted.

✔️ Traditional publishers have short term commercial objectives: traditional publishers have short term commercial objectives: they want to be number one in the traditional management book sales charts and become ‘management book of the year’. It does not matter how or with whom.

More: The Great AI Layoff, The Democratization Of AI & Book Tony For A Video Consultation

✔️ I dealt with various intermediaries. When you work with a traditional publisher of management books, you spend a lot of time, energy, and money dealing with various intermediaries, such as the publisher, editors, designers, and marketing professionals of the involved publishing house.

✔️ I was limited in sales & distribution. Traditional publishers usually distribute their management books only through major bookstores and a limited number of affiliated online platforms.

✔️ I had no say in the price of the management book. Traditional publishers set the price of your management book, whether it’s a paperback, an ebook, or an audiobook.

✔️ I did not own the rights to the cover or ecover. The cover including the ecovers of the ebook and the audiobook are owned by the graphic designer.

✔️ I could not update the management books. I always include real-life case studies and interviews in my management books. Naturally, content of my physical management books became outdated: people moved to other jobs and sometimes people even passed away, like a good friend of mine. I wasn’t even allowed to update the ebook versions.

✔️ Publishers only promoted my management book once: My management books were only promoted once prior to the publication date using traditional management book sellers: physical shops and related online management book site.

✔️ Publishers published management books on the same topic: Just after one of my management books for startups went into the top-10 of sales, my publisher published a management book with a similar title, but written by somebody working for a large corporate who pushed sales by bying a large number of management book themselves! Killing the sales of my management book.

Personal branding and ethical reasons

✔️ The people I want to help do not need corporate management books. People in my digital blue oceans, including existing and new entrepreneurs worldwide and in the Netherlands, do not need corporate knowledge and experience in what ever form. They need to quickly learn using new relevant soft- and hard skills to survive the online shakeout. And the most important one:

✔️I did not want to be part of the corporate management industry. The traditional management book industry is based on selling management books that are often based on sacred cows in management, sacred cows in business and are often written by people that are actually false experts, claiming false authority in the current fast-changing online non-corporate business world.

✔️ My personal experiences writing, publishing and making money online from home and as digital nomad with my own short on-demand ebooks since 2001 as online side hustle along side my work at ABN Amro (see my Linkedin-profile).

Since the democratization of AI in 2022, I have switched to AI-powered writing and AI-powered graphic design using non-corporate AI-powered apps as part of my new digital blue ocean strategy as the basis for my new AI-powered business model as virtual solopreneur.

Reach out

Want to know more about how you can make money with your own relevant knowledge and experience with your own digital blue ocean strategy? By writing and selling your own digital products for people in your digital blue ocean and how you can use AI for this as part of your own new AI-powered business model? Then send me an email via this form. Then we can make an appointment.