I attended half of a dozen writer’s conferences in 2011. I met scads of great people and learned a boatload about the publishing industry. Good times. But despite all of the positive, one major issue loomed larger than all informative seminars combined–the shifting book market. While I have nothing against those who self-publish, (who knows, I may go down that road), I am rather tired of hearing all of the…
Everyone is self-publishing. It’s impossible to get an agent or a traditional pub contract. Amazon will own the entire market. To name a few hyperboles.
1. Trust me. Everyone is NOT self-publishing. MOST of the writers I know are either established in the traditional publishing market or are seeking traditional publishing. Yes, many of them are open to e-books and the possibilities of self-publishing, but they want the finality, the prestige, the stamp of success associated with a contract through a traditional publisher.
2. It IS possible to land an agent. There are thousands of agented authors. The problem is, many writers don’t want to do the real work associated with landing an agent. For one, a writer’s craft must be EXCELLENT and ORIGINAL(this is no easy feat). Two, writer’s must seek out those who would truly be interested in their work. Three, writer’s need A LOT of patience. Granted, plenty of wonderful authors will slip through the cracks. It happens, but learning the ropes and following the proper avenues may very well lead to signing with an agent, which ALSO happens.
3. This seems like an asanine generalization to me–traditional publishing contracts aren’t happening anymore? Yes, I’ve actually heard plenty of people say this. Check Publisher’s Weekly for the many, many contracts sold each day.
The traditional industry is going under! By 2015, newly printed books will be a bygone! Literary agencies won’t be needed.
1. The BIG 6 aren’t stupid. They didn’t become the leaders in the industry for nothing. While it’s true they were slower to move toward e-books, it doesn’t mean they are OPPOSED to them. As a matter of fact, the traditional pubs are making a fortune on e-books. That’s right, they have moved along with the times and are updating both their contracts to include e-book sales and their marketing strategies.
2. As for the banishment of printed books, that’s absurd. Despite the fall of the book vendor giants like Borders (now extinct), and Barnes & Noble (reports massive fall in stock), there will always be books in print. Look at the music industry. A core group continue to buy compact discs, even with the advent of electronic music files. Not everyone prefers technological gadgets and others enjoy owning the fancy, glossy booklets inside.
3. And literary agencies not needed? BAH. A literary agent will always be necessary, ESPECIALLY with e-publishing. With contracts changing almost daily and with the hundreds of indie presses popping up all over the internet, each with varied fine print, it becomes more important than ever to have a knowledgable advocate on the author’s side.
Change is hard. Most of us aren’t any good at it. As the sphere of publishing revolves, it evolves, leaving authors befuddled about their direction. But take heart. With change comes OPTIONS. Lots of them. And that can never be a bad thing.