The points made in the "Ten Changes in Publishing Since 2000" below are true and it does make you wonder what role the traditional book publisher will play in the future if:
- Their editors ( or laid off editors ) freelance
- Marketing is the responsibility of the author
- Finding readers is the responsibility of the author
- Branding is the responsibility of the author
- Social networking is the responsibility of the author
- And online tools, new technology and changing trends make it easier for the author to put their work before the eyes of readers.
Look for traditional publishers to struggle as they seek a way to justify their existence when the role they served in the marketplace is now "outsourced" to the author. Once the brick and mortar distribution models becomes obsolete ( and for mid-list authors who can't get their books in stores I'd suggest that channel is already dead ) then the field of publishing is a Wild West frontier.
For as little as $500 authors will develop their own e-reader apps for iPhones and the new iPad. These author-owned apps will included audio, (back ground music ) video, graphics and hyperlinks. Self published authors will sell their books for $.99 and keep seventy cents, bypassing the long wait for royalties on books sold in Walmart for $9 with a thirty cent pay out. To compliment the e-book, they'll offer printed versions.
The first to jump, of course, will be new authors who can't get a look by traditional houses. Then mid list authors. Finally, best selling celebrities will take control of their careers and launch their own imprint. ( i.e. Stephen King )
This is the future of book publishing unless traditional houses can find some way to bring value to the marketplace and right now, they don't seem to be moving in that direction.
In fact, given the state of book publishing, look for Amazon and Apple to launch bids to buy established houses in order to retain the rights to sell books by big-name writers.
If I was a traditional house, I'd be signing more authors not less, make myself more valuable to the marketplace, not less.
Steve Jobs wrapped his arm around the big 8 yesterday, kissed them on the cheek and whispered the words of their obituary at the same time.
Ten Changes in Publishing Since 2000
- Many publications and publishers accept electronic submissions, whether via e-mail or online submission forms.
- More than ever, writers have to brand themselves.
- Writers must do the work of marketing and promoting themselves to agents, editors, publishers, and--ultimately--readers. (Wondering how? We recommend Get Known Before the Book Deal.)
- Personal sites and blogs have made it easier than ever for writers to develop an audience.
- Ad-based print resources (i.e., Magazines and Newspapers) have struggled to adjust to the Internet with new content strategies and pricing models. (Market Watch, exclusively for WritersMarket.com subscribers gives you insight on the latest changes.)
- Due to the tough economic times, publications are relying more and more on freelancers. (With over 8000 listings, WritersMarket.com can help you find these opportunities.)
- The proliferation of online content has opened up more opportunities than ever for writers from all backgrounds.
- There are more online tools than ever to help writers research and write more efficiently and knowledgeably.
- Social media offers easy and ground-breaking ways to network with publishing professionals, other writers, and potential interviewees. (If you're not already a member, join the Writer's Digest Community. You'll become a part of a supportive and creative community dedicated to the art and craft of writing.)
- Businesses and organizations now rely on great content to attract new customers, sell products, and spread important messages--the trend of content marketing. (Wonder how much you should charge for this content? The "How Much Should I Charge? Rate Card" gives you answers!)