Lesen.net and reported Thursday morning that Germany's Tolino ebook consortium is launching a new program where ten books by self-published authors will be carried in the bookstores run by Thalia, Hugendubel, Weltbild, and Osiander, four of the bookstore chains that make up the Tolino consortium.
The books which have been deemed worthy of inclusion in Tolino's quota program will be edited - again - and receive new covers from graphic designers.The books will be published under the imprint Tolino Books, and will be sold for 9.99 euros. You can find a list of the books over at e-Book-News.de. They should be in stores by 15 November.
Yes, folks, not only does Tolino assume that it can't find ten self-pub titles good enough to be sold in a book store in their current state, it's also going to take the credit for each author's hard work by publishing the books under its own imprint.
I find the former hard to believe, given what I have seen with traditionally published titles (Go Set a Watchman, anyone?), and the latter point is simply repugnant.
Rather than look for self-published authors to pat on the head, perhaps Tolino could look for authors who had already achieved the prize that Tolino was awarding to the authors in its quota program. (Remember, we're talking about a market where at least one author has sold a million copies of her ebooks in the Kindle Store. Surely she's not the only one.)
Or perhaps Tolino could instead develop a program that treats indie authors the same as it would treat established publishers. Is that really too much to ask?