Friday, September 17, 2010

The Future of Publishing

There is so much information out there about where the future of publishing is headed. Will books go the way of the newspaper? (I mean when was the last time you picked one of those up) Will bookstores become obsolete? 

My answer is no.  I don't believe that either of things will happen though there is no doubt the industry will change.  The real question is will it change for the better?

We've already seen or at least heard about a lot of the cubby hole book stores with the smell of paper heavy in the air going under with the big chains taking over.  (Yeah cheaper books)  I believe the chain stores will have to adapt to the new market, the E- Market.  As in e-books.

This is where I believe things will get tricky for us as authors.  It is already difficult to find an agent.  You practically have to sell your soul (mmmwwwahhhaaa, devil rubbing his hands together) to get an agent as it is.  On top of that most help little once your book is published,unless you are a big money maker, or they believe you will be.  (After all they make money off of your hard work)  A lot of agents expect you to have a network in place for marketing your book before they will even consider you.

The question is how to build such a network?  There is the new traditional way setting up websites, blogging, linking your facebook with twitter.  Then you have to market your blog to your audience (You got the sent boy, go get 'em)  This is where everything comes to a head.

As most authors/ writers know you must complete your first full length novel before attempting to find and agent or really do anything. They are looking for established writers and those with strong followings (example: I have 5000 followers on my twitter account and another 7000 on my blog. I do not have this many followers on anything.) They believe this will translate into a lot of sales, but I don't believe this alone will be enough.

Indie Publishing is where we are headed.  I believe soon it won't just be a query letter the gods have sent down from the heavens to get you published that is needed. It won't just be having a million followers on your blog.  It will be have you published a book yourself?  What was the reception like? Do you have any fans/followers? This will be what it will take to get an agent in the future, and your book in the bookstares that make it through the future chaos.


  1. I love the idea that the most important question in the future might be whether you've self-published anything yet.

    Look for a private message at WD community.

  2. Hi Lauren, I wrote a blog about Nicholas Carr's book called The Shallows. He argues that the internet is causing people to not read books anymore.
    Here's a link to the blog:
    Its an interesting topic.

  3. '..... It won't just be having a million followers on your blog. It will be have you published a book yourself? What was the reception like? Do you have any fans/followers? This will be what it will take to get an agent in the future, and your book in the bookstores that make it through the future chaos.'

    Spot on. Nugget of pure gold. That's exactly what I think is going to happen, only I couldn't encapsulate the future so succinctly.
    I came to writing late and have never queried an agent. I saw at once that the technology and access to distribution channels placed for free in the hands of the writer and the sheer volume of the written word generated by the internet, render the traditional publishing model obsolete and the agent's role as sifter and gatekeeper both humanly impossible to fulfil and irrelevant.
    I've just published my book for free as an e-book, and intend to sell it on Amazon but I have no illusions as to how it might fare. I'm publishing it for free because I suspect that anyone browsing Smashwords, for example, will be doing so in such a casual manner that even the 'hassle' of a paypal purchase will put the individual off. S/he will simply slip on to the next offering. The chances s/he will down load for free is larger, and therefor the chances of 'getting known' in cyberspace increased. If marginally, but we're talking tiny percentages anyway - which will hopefully add up to a relatively significant cyber-presence eventually - in a vast sea of possibilities. I suppose what I'm trying to do is build paltform in fact, so that if I wasn't known before this book, I will be for the next one.

  4. PS, Just purchased from Smashwords and looking forward to reading and reviewing Immortal.