04 January 2012

The Ever Changing Publishing Industry


Change scares people. I know it scares the hell out of me. I hate it. I want things to stay the same. I like the comfort of always knowing what's going on. But let's face it, living like that is like the proverbial ostrich with its head in the sand. If I can't see you, you can't see me. If I bury my head against change then it won't affect me.

We all know that can't happen.

And I think we've all heard the doomsayers when they claim publishing is changing and will never be the same again. I suppose that's true. The internet and the promise of immediate gratification is intoxicating. People want books now--hence the reason ereaders were the hot item this past Christmas. On the flip side, authors want their products out there immediately--hence the rise in indy publishing.

But as much as things change, things also stay the same. Readers still want their paperback books. There will always be those hold-outs who refuse to embrace change. As an author I appreciate all those different types of readers.

I was ecstatic when I heard Amazon sold one million Kindles a week during the month of December. One million! A week! Each of those four million Kindles will need books. Possibly hundreds of books. That bodes well for me where most of my sales are ebooks.

So what does all of this mean for authors? I think this is the best time ever to be an author. There are so many more avenues open to us. No longer do we have to rely on the big NY publishers to decide if our book fits into their schedule. So many epublishers have filled the void, realizing there were so many good books out there for readers looking for something a bit different. And now we have indy publishing--authors striking out on their own without a publishers backing. I'm in a critique group with an author who has done amazingly well in indy publishing. Better than a lot of established authors with big publishers.

The field is wide open for not only us but for readers as well and I think that's wonderful.

But one thing hasn't changed. Whether indy published, paperback published or epublished, a reader is still looking for a good read. Something that will take them away from their everyday life and into a different world. Regardless of what publishing format an author chooses to distribute his or her book, the book still has to be well-written. In the end, nothing has really changed when it comes to actually writing the book. We all still have to sit down to a blank page with a blinking cursor and create a world in which people want to go to.

Wishing you all happy reading in 2012.


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