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General Chatting > 2011 Predictions for Book Publishing

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message 1: by CaliGirlRae, Mod Squad (new)

CaliGirlRae (rae_l) | 2005 comments Mod
Mark Coker, CEO of Smashwords, has posted his predictions for 2011 in book publishing. A lot of it seems spot on, especially regarding how many authors will be looking to place their own work out digitally as ebooks continue to rise. It'll also be interesting to see how the role of literary agents change as we continue on. This year saw the loss of two agents who left the game for other pursuits and I'm pretty sure others will start to reformat their focus (kind of like the bookstores).

Dean Wesley Smith (who gives awesome writer advice) gives his thoughts on the predictions.
(If you haven't already, check out his Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing series. Amazing stuff.)

message 2: by Arch , Mod (new)

Arch  | 6627 comments Mod
I hope some authors still go the printed route. Even the ones that want to go the ebook route. Everyone will not buy an ereader to read a book nor does everyone like to sit at a computer to read a book.

message 3: by CaliGirlRae, Mod Squad (new)

CaliGirlRae (rae_l) | 2005 comments Mod
I think some will because readers will probably ask if print editions will be available. A few spec authors who have put their work out do some limited editions with special features and gorgeous print work. Plus there are so many great ways to go POD! :-)

I try to make mine available in both formats because I know some folks prefer one format over another. So yeah, I don't think print will dwindle too much (not for another few years or so). ;-)

message 4: by Arch , Mod (new)

Arch  | 6627 comments Mod
Print better not go anywhere. I love reading my own work, although I am my own worst critic, but I also like reading a good catcher by another writer.

The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (thefountainpendiva) | 1215 comments Print will (thankfully) never go out of style because of the baby boomers (of which I am on the tail end of, LOL) as well as teens. I honestly don't see teens reading books on their iPods or Droids, but the generation after them (the tweens) might be more receptive.

I like both print and e-books, but I'll never purchase a Kindle (because of their habit of pulling books from the machine without the reader's knowledge), but I am definitely purchasing a tablet PC that will allow me to read my e-books more confortably.

message 6: by Delaney (new)

Delaney Diamond (delaney_diamond) Thanks for sharing that, Rae. It was very interesting. I don't think traditional publishers are as behind the learning curve as implied in the articles, though.

Trad pubs have opened e-stores to sell e-copies of books, some lines have gone completely digital, and they're also publishing books in both print and e-format. Because of their size and bureaucracy, it's taken longer for them to change, but they can't ignore the economics and are making the necessary changes.

message 7: by Stacy-Deanne (new)

Stacy-Deanne Stacy-Deanne (wwwgoodreadscomstacydeanne) Rae I was passing this around yesterday. It's fascinating just to look back over the last few years to see how much publishing has changed!

Best Wishes!

message 8: by CaliGirlRae, Mod Squad (new)

CaliGirlRae (rae_l) | 2005 comments Mod
Arch, I think they will become a luxury item in the future for folks who can afford them. They'll still be around but perhaps like in ye olden days when collectors will buy them to put on their shelf.

Delaney, np! It's surprising to see how much the traditional publishers don't get it considering how much they're trying to stop ebooks from taking over. They don't like it cutting into their hardcover sales and are very resistant to change. But they're finding out you can't stop the signal! It's a tough lesson to learn that the readers are their customers not distributors or bookstores like they were in the past. It's still amazing to me to see how many traditionally published writing vets are taking their work into their owns and leaving traditional pubs behind in order to carve out their own writing destiny. Inspiring stuff.

Hear hear Stacy-Deanne! Amazing indeed. :-)

message 9: by Delaney (new)

Delaney Diamond (delaney_diamond) Rae, I'm sure it's empowering for these seasoned vets to get control of their own work in a way they couldn't before. You can often (not always) make more money when you cut out the middleman, and you have the creative power to write what you want.

Seth Godin is a perfect example of this shift in publishing. He has so many followers he doesn't need a trad pub and has successfully self-published.

I don't think publishers ignored the needs of readers, although that's something the article implies. I used to manage a bookstore, and we ordered what sold. Period. If something didn't sell well, we ordered less units or we took special orders only.

We were the go-between between the publisher and the ultimate consumer, the reader. It wouldn't make sense for us to order something that our customers wouldn't buy.

What's changed is the distribution channel. Brick and mortar is no longer the standard when you can purchase e-books or order from online retailers like Amazon.

What's also changed is the variety available b/c of e-books. Now readers have access to so many more choices, and they speak with their dollars. Consumers can now say what they want more of b/c they see what else is available.

For example, I never walked into a bookstore and requested an IR novel. Once I found out they were available, I began to articulate this need to stores and search for them online. Now I buy them regularly.

That makes publishers and retailers pay attention. Their ultimate goal is to make $. They make $ giving us what we will spend money on. The ones who are slow to change or follow industry trends will be the ones to suffer.

message 10: by Stacy-Deanne (new)

Stacy-Deanne Stacy-Deanne (wwwgoodreadscomstacydeanne) I'm just happy for authors. The truth is, a lot of people who deserve to be published might not get the chance or would have to wait years and years with how things used to be. Now a writer has more options. I know, some books just don't need to be published. LOL! Some folks can't get deals because they can't write worth a darn. But there are a lot of good writers who fall through the cracks. I've known several aspiring writers this year who were so good that they got to the final series of meetings at certain big pubs. They were so excited, thinking they were in for sure. The editors loved their books but it was the senior editors (in three of these cases) that said no. That's heartbreaking. It used to be if your book made it to the acquisitions meetings, they would say yes. But not these days. It's even harder for new writers to break in.

So, one of the guys says he's gonna self-publish on Kindle and his agent supports the decision. Since a big pub has said they loved it, he knows the story is pretty good. He's been shopping this book around for a while, it's the first book in a series and he says he doesn't wanna wait any longer. I don't blame him. I think in this day and age, if you wait too long you might miss a better path laid out for you.

In the case of these writers I mentioned, I think self-publishing might work out well because they already had validation. If editors at a big house think your work is good enough to consider, then that says something. It's the marketing and promotion that they have to tackle now. I hope it works out for them and other new writers as well who take the plunge.

Best Wishes!

message 11: by Delaney (new)

Delaney Diamond (delaney_diamond) That's a definite plus to the changes taking place in the industry--that not just readers, but authors have more options now.

message 12: by Arch , Mod (new)

Arch  | 6627 comments Mod
A lot of authors that wants to go with the ebook route needs to get their work in the library system as well. Some people can't afford to buy books, but they can use the library services.

message 13: by CaliGirlRae, Mod Squad (last edited Dec 31, 2010 01:28PM) (new)

CaliGirlRae (rae_l) | 2005 comments Mod
I'm wondering if Overdrive is really tough to get into for publishers. That's an avenue that seems to be bringing in a lot of audio and e-reads into libraries. I haven't tried it out myself (yet) but I would think that's a great way to bring the digital work in so folks can check them out.

message 14: by Arch , Mod (last edited Dec 31, 2010 02:01PM) (new)

Arch  | 6627 comments Mod
I agree Rae. My library uses overdrive as well. A person doesn't even have to go to the library, they can check the books out at their house.

message 15: by CaliGirlRae, Mod Squad (new)

CaliGirlRae (rae_l) | 2005 comments Mod
Exactly. :-)

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