Mandating and enforcing culture
2) They're operating from the worst kind of scarcity mentality.They must believe that endorsing POD (or self-published) books will shine a negative light on their authors.3) They're distancing themselves from their own bad decisions.Simon & Schuster has a self-publishing imprint called Archway, run by Author Solutions (of very questionable ethics who've been sued by authors and whose track record you can Google), which, awkwardly and oddly, is owned by Random House/Penguin.Respectful relationships on the job can lead to a loyal workforce, and can lead to satisfied customers and long-term company growth.A 2011 study by Weber Shandwick, a global public relations firm, found that 38 percent of employees think the workplace has become more uncivil and disrespectful over the last few years.
Workers can trust the company more if enforcement and consequences regarding the standards of behavior apply to everyone within the organization.
(Apparently Simon & Schuster has no qualms about the self-publishing arm of their business being owned by their biggest and direct traditional competitor.) One of the great promises of Archway is that you get published by Simon & Schuster--if your book sells well enough.
But their traditionally published authors apparently can't and won't blurb you.
I left traditional publishing after a particularly symbolic experience, when I was actively discouraged from acquiring a book I believed in wholeheartedly but then met with excessive enthusiasm (and a large advance to back it) for a proposal propelled by a fancy agent, celebrity endorsements, and a whole lotta hot air. A publishing company, in my opinion, does not have the right to mandate whom its authors advocate in an attempt to control its reputation or to distance itself from "the other." To do so smacks of elitism, one of traditional publishing's lasting and detrimental flaws.
It wasn't cannon fodder, and it ended up doing well for the company, but I'd compromised. If you are asked to blurb a book, what should matter is whether you believe in it. If you care enough about the author or the book, you offer your endorsement. We've already arrived at a place where people judge books on the writing, not on how those books make it into the marketplace.