I’m taking yesterday’s topic of borrowing and lending to another level today. Those who’ve worked their way into the publishing business in the past few years, depending on the preconceptions of what it means to be a writer, have learned the new definition. They’ve also learned about the new work ethic of writers.
Writers shamelessly promote their work, and the work of others, everywhere they can because their careers’ futures depend on that promotion. Also, the big publishing houses today simply don’t have the promotion budgets they had in the past.
Other writers encourage us to guest blog on their sites, whether for self-promotion to a new audience or for a new book recently released. Guest blogging can also be used to promote a new voice/viewpoint about a specific topic being discussed. Either way, both the borrower of the audience and the lender of said viewers come away with something needed.
For the first time in centuries, writers are taking charge of their own livelihoods in the business. Many independent-thinking writers, who created their own presses, have turned their backs on the major publishing houses. They no longer consider it wrong to go without an agent. These career-oriented writers have changed the face of the industry in the past decade.
Whether I give information out for free, or I receive such information for free is irrelevant to the overall picture. The reason I can say that is because, in some respects, it’s beginning to look like the industry will soon be owned by the writers themselves.
Blogs and newsletters written by and for writers are created every day. They cover all the genres, and they take no prisoners. Whatever a writer wants to know is out there. Surfing and search engines make it impossible to overlook much that’s available.
When you consider that writers, editors, bloggers, along with magazines are ranking websites, newsletters, etc. on a regular basis, the built-in watchdogs guarantee that a careful user is safer from publishing scams than they used to be.
As encouragement, universities across the country are making free writing courses available by the dozen. Paid courses are also easily found and evaluated as to viability to the particular writer and skill set desired. And if a writer is determined, she can take an MFA degree online, or as a low-residency program from numerous colleges across the nation.
Advertising and promotion is easy to come by. Small, writer-controlled, publishing houses are moving in to entice new writers and secure established ones. A combo house—one which publishes both eBooks and POD simultaneously can take a well-written manuscript and turn it out to the public in a matter of only a few weeks/months instead of one to two years as happens with the big publishers. The lead time depends on the editing necessary for the manuscript and the dedication of the publishing staff.
Many of these same small presses use talented editors, promotion—including trailers and online, and help with marketing after the release of the book.
Building Publishing’s Future
Whether the new face of publishing comes at the expense of the major houses around the world isn’t the question. We should be asking if we want to rid ourselves of those big houses.
Yes, today’s average writer with a big publisher has to create her own marketing plan. That’s now considered part of the proposal package that’s submitted by the writer with the manuscript. That plan must be as broad and potentially profit-generating as one of the publishers’ marketing reps could put together. (At least, that’s how I’ve read one publisher’s guidelines wish list.)
Many readers want to see a recognized brand name on the book jacket, too. If a book isn’t signed, so to speak, by Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, or some other New York publisher, it could be overlooked or rejected by the potential reader as coming from a vanity press. The reputation of vanity presses hasn’t helped self-publishing’s image any in the past.
Recently, POD’s and small presses have pushed those that stroke someone’s vanity into the background. With the advent of eBooks and readers that fit into a pocket, good books are available and very affordable. The convenience and pricing will keep eBooks’ numbers climbing, especially with the downturn in the economy. Many of those book buyers who used to pay $20+ for a hardback book may have moved to where they can get better value for their money.
Today’s economy and personal financial woes could easily revolutionize the current big boys of the industry and force them to embrace those offerings from POD’s and eBooks. In fact, as a result of editors reading eBook offerings already available, the big houses have found new writers, writers that sell. That’s an encouraging sign.
If a person writes well, has a good story to tell, and wants to find an acceptable press, the dream is doable. That’s always been part of the publishing rules. With small presses, the author might not expect to reap as much in potential sales. Then again, there are those who’ve made millions publishing POD’s and eBooks. Marketing makes the difference.
Next time, we’ll dive into marketing. Tell me how you see today’s writing environment and the shifting sands of writers’ lives.
Liebster Blog Award
- Less Politics, More Everyman: The Remade Rustics nyti.ms/14flASw Lovely to be here.Writing for your life 6 hours ago
- Draft: The Role of a Dictionary nyti.ms/108q2yN A definite thought provoker.Writing for your life 6 hours ago
- One can discover how to change much of their thought patterns through meditation. Mindful meditation presents... fb.me/1BdBFe5YcWriting for your life 2 days ago
- Thought Ripples: Mindfulness: Where Does It Get You? wp.me/p2rZMK-2qiWriting for your life 2 days ago
- Kirk and Spock, in Their Roughhousing Days nyti.ms/12veA3BWriting for your life 2 days ago
Readers On Claudsy
|claudsy on Lyrical Prose or Prose Po…|
|Jolene on Lyrical Prose or Prose Po…|
|claudsy on Fan Fiction or Fun Pastim…|