Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Adapt and Survive - Tsunami of Change in the Publishing World

Since I entered the writing arena in 2009, things have changed in the publishing world at a dizzying pace.
  1. Ereaders a few years ago were pricey - picked up by mostly techies. Then several models were released - the Nook, the Kobo - and Kindle expanded its available servies into countries other than the US. Sony released newer versions of its ereader. Ereader price wars broke out.
  2. Authors, tired of wait times and low royalties and loss of control over their projects, started to look at self-publishing and the numbers of sales that ereaders were producing. 
  3. Digital publishing became available for the common writer, as many self-publishing and assisted self-publishing options became available and the resulting books and ebooks were of good, possibly even great print quality (read: as good as a traditionally produced book).
  4. Agents continued to turn their noses up at those who dared to go the self-pubbed route, touting it as a last resort for desperate writers, until ebook sales took off with many dozens of authors making a reasonable living off their ebook versions.
  5. Agents began to scout through Amazon for authors and their "tested" books - those that had proven their worthiness by either great sales or great reviews, or both.
  6. Agents and self published authors began to work together, obtaining traditional deals that gave the authors and their "proven" books a far greater distribution pathway.
  7. Ebook sales outpaced hardcover sales and royalties for self published projects left the traditional royalty rates in the basement.
  8. Ereader sales exploded, suggesting that the sales numbers for ebooks are also going to increase dramatically.
  9. Some ebook authors turned down agents' offers for representation ( yes, TURNED DOWN!)
  10. Agents are still authors' best route for foreign rights and film rights - authors do not have much experience in contract negotiations/royalties in these areas.
Stay tuned for the continuing saga of publishing changes for 2011!

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