The condition of the publishing industry seems to be dire. It’s said publishers are laying-off staff. Bookstores are reported to be having a hard time, and closures are everywhere.
Traditionally, recession has barely affected book sales - people have sought escape from reality within the written word .... but this time it is different.
Publishing industry dead?
Readers, authors, those in self publishing, those of us who’re actually concerned with the business, have to be the ones to come up with new and different ways to get our work in the hands of readers.
Imagine what would happen if every publisher in the world went out of business. What would happen if every bookstore died?
Will it be lamentable that publishers go out of business? Perhaps - or perhaps this is an opportunity for something really ground-breaking.
Innovation is coming from the hands of authors themselves, after all, isn’t that what authors are – creative? We are already seeing an exhilaration the book business has not seen for years.
Okay, I admit it, I'm sanguine, I know I always think of my cup as half-full, not half-empty. But new know-how has come along, and is already changing the economics of books. There are ebooks, print-on-demand, the web, and perhaps more to come that we don’t yet know about.
A different paradigm
Readers are still there, maybe fewer, but no less passionate. Authors are certainly there - I’ve never seen so many new writers struggling to get a foot in the market. If the soothsayers are right, whatever paradigm these conglomerate corporations were working hasn't worked very well, so a new concept can hardly be worse.
As I see it, it's up to us – the ones who care about books -- to fathom what the book business needs be like in the next few years. The answer might just lie with us.
My publisher went to the wall a while ago. I now publish my work solely as ebooks and sell many times more than I ever did traditionally. It seems that many more traditionally published authors are volunteering to go ebook as well.
There could be electrifying times ahead!!!
- Next post on Tell Me a Story - Nina Klokset.
End of post - Is the publishing industry dead?