Monday, January 2, 2012

Publishing Growing Pains Continue

Happy New Year!!!

I hope you all had a wonderful end-of-2011 celebration and are raring to go in 2012. I do feel it's good to have the past year behind us. It was tough and complicated in many ways, from wars to tsunamis to the elephant in the room—the economy, not to mention the effects of all that on mere mortals trying to get books published. 

While we take several lungfulls of fresh 2012 air, hitch up our britches and step into the Breach once again, we continue to face an ever-changing publishing environment. Self publishing is going gangbusters, but no one knows quite where it is that it's going for most of those intrepid previously unknowns who've taken the plunge; Amazon and Barnes&Noble are (as predicted by many) the only behemoths left standing that are in a position to take full advantage of the emerging self-publishing vector as well as offer traditionally published books, and therefore control what and how people read; the traditional publishing industry is showing signs of fighting back and getting a grip on the realities of its changing world, but is still lagging in many ways that have to do with speed and payout; and small publishers with good track records continue to emerge as the gems that gleam brightest for writers who want a little advance money and a bit of marketing and publicity support. 

There are so many question marks still on the page that 2012 promises to be a year of (painful) continued growth and change. I'm guessing that it will be a pivotal year for publishers and authors alike, but hardly the one in which these issues are resolved.

On that ambiguous note, here are a couple of articles on the subject of self vs. traditional publishing that have come out recently:

The US Justice Department is investigating e-book pricing and the agency model.

A leaked document from Hachette Book Publishing that responds to criticism from supporters of self-publishing (don't forget to click on Joe Konrath's response to the Hachette document).

And finally, one more example of the type of commentary that we can expect a lot more of (this one on the other side from Seth Godin and Joe Konrath) from mega-author Richard Russo.


It's going to be a fun year!

~ Linda

18 comments:

  1. It is going to be an exciting year. Every year, publishing changes more and more. It's fascinating to be in and watching the storm.

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  2. It will be an interesting year for publishing for sure. I'm excited about all this year holds for us and the industry.

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  3. This is very informative. Thanks for the links.

    Denise

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  4. Good information contained within the links. Thanks for the post.

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  5. Happy New Year! I just hope that whatever hits and sticks pubwise, I'll be ready.

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  6. Beautifully put, Lydia, it IS fascinating!

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  7. Me too, Heather. It's such a fertile time for growth.

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  8. Denise, you're welcome. Thanks for stopping by.

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  9. It is interesting stuff, isn't it, Susan? Glad you found it useful.

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  10. Really enjoyed the link to the Jungle Logic article. Makes you wonder what is savvy business, and what is monopoly. A bad analogy is when I try to call any utility or service company now, and I get that horrific "say your question" recording and hopefully get routed to a person after 10 or 15 minutes, when if I could have talked to a living creature, my question would have been answered in 5. Ultimately, perhaps I see a few bucks off my bill, but I think I'd rather have the personal bit.

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  11. I'm with you on that, Julie. I think the personal bit is what anything of value all comes down to, almost always.

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  12. Laura, I agree, the debate is just heating up.

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  13. Wow. I can see the value of traditional and indie publishing. I would love to see more people enjoy reading!

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  14. I love that point of view, Lin. It's what we all should want to see, and I hope we will never have our choices of styles and types of reading damaged in the contest for dollars.

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  15. Thank you for one of the best New Years messages for the book business. These are great links. There is definitely value in self publishing... quality will always be in question. But, if you write a good book...people will tell others to read it. That's how I've been selecting my books of late. Recommendations. Yes, times are changing. It will be a fun and exciting New Year for sure.

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  16. So true, Karlene. Word of mouth is the gold standard for author success, no matter what publishing model is used. Nice to know there's a dependable, important marketing component that's worth focusing on no matter what. I'm with you (and good words are going to spread FAST about your book--when can I get a copy???)

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