Saturday, March 27, 2010
The Future of Publishing - My Spin
In case you've not surfed the publishing news lately, this YouTube video came out entitled The Future of Publishing. It's amazing people from newbies to seasoned agents and publishers. Make sure you watch it all the way through in order to glean the effect.
Bottom line is that reading material is here to stay. Unless you live under a rock, you've heard all the controversy and hoopla about electronic reading devices, ebook contract squabbles between publishing houses and Amazon, ebook pricing and ebook release strategies.
Yes, it's time you understood about ebooks. No, you don't have to go crazy, but just like you must digest the differences between self-publishing and traditional publishing, you need to realize the nature of ebooks. They are a separate negotiable item these days - another rights issue. Don't care to study the details? Land an agent. Don't care to use a literary agent? Then bone-up on ebooks, because you'll have to decide how you want your book presented to the world.
People on list groups, blogs and chats get a little flustered about ebooks, as if publishing is on the brink of destruction. It's not. It's modernizing. Do you realize that the evolution of the paperback book consumed the entire decade of the 1930's?
Albatross Books originated the concept but failed. Penguin picked up the baton and ran with it four years later, and a few years after that Pocket Books sprouted through Simon & Schuster. In the late 30's they were faddish, and accepted.
Point is that publishing methods will change over our lifetimes.
Why get hung up on whether you'll publish hardback, paperback or electronically? Consider them all. Welcome them all. Offer to be open to any and all methods.
Same goes for selling. You can't sell online without understanding how Amazon works, how electronic books work, how platforms work. You can't sell via bookstores without understanding returns, distribution, retail and wholesale values. Part of the fear and uncertainty comes from lack of understanding. Educate yourself
and remove the doubt.
Embrace all manner of the written word. Be willing to sell your words via all channels. The point is to write and spread your stories across the masses. Who cares how they buy it?
No, publishing isn't dead, as so many cynics have expressed of late. Publishing is growing. Some of us are just enduring growing pains.