Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The future of publishing--back to basics

Lots of blogs and articles talk about where publishing is going in the next few years. Lots of people are feeling shaken by what they see as rapid changes in the publishing world. But I can tell you where publishing's going--where it's always been. Publishing is about getting stories to readers.

Let me say it again. Publishing is about Getting Stories To Readers.

Ebooks taking off doesn't surprise me. Indie publishing taking off doesn't surprise me. Both are well equipped to get new stories into reader hands faster and cheaper. Moreover, independent authors and small presses are often closer to the reader. They work with readers one on one, visiting with them through email, blogs and reader-intensive sites like Goodreads, Smashwords and Amazon.

Smaller-footprint groups in general are leaner, more nimble, and can not only adjust faster to changes, but without the large infrastructure to support, can afford to offer stories that are fresher, edgier, chancier. They can fill the niches that publishers who must sell tens of thousands of copies of a book just to break even can't.

Speaking of prices...how did you find your favorite authors? Many of mine came recommended by friends. But however I heard of them, I still first check them out the same way I always have--at the library. Here's another example of the future being in sync with the basics. Kindle books are now available at many libraries, giving readers a wider range of authors to fall in love with.

My go-to person on Indie writing is Edie Ramer of Cattitude and Dead People fame. She writes regularly for Lori Devoti's How To Write Shop and I find her articles both entertaining and highly useful.

Of course the biggest problem cited with lean-published books is lack of good editing. Anything but clean, crisp copy will come between the author and her readers too. Filling the gap are many quality independent editors, as explained in this Freelance Editor Panel.

So, whether it's a blockbuster published at a large traditional house or a small indie ebook, the bottom line has never changed. It's all about getting stories to readers who want to read them.

No comments:

Post a Comment