Out with the Old:The Re-Evolution of Publishing
More Essays on Writing from my Orangeberry Book Tour
When I think of tradition, I think of the comfort of the tried and true. Traditional is comfortable because the way has already been taken by those who came before, so you know what to expect.
Non-traditional is riskier. And there are likely to be fewer gatekeepers, which means that anyone can enter onto the gates of the country club.
Which is exactly why I think this is the best time in history to be an author. Yes, indie-publishing has created a crowded field where anyone can publish a book and there are no gatekeepers to pronounce who is worthy of presenting themselves to readers. But for authors it means that you now have more options. You can pursue the traditional route of agent and publisher, or you can do it all yourself. Which is a wonderfully entrepreneurial freedom in an industry which was for so many years dominated by a few huge mega-corporations.
For readers, the blasting open of the publishing world means that they not only get introduced new authors, they’ve enjoyed enormous price reductions in the cost of paper books, and in the case of e-books, a daily download opportunity of free books. When you, as a reader, look back at the books you’ve read in the past year, how many of them were by new authors you would never have considered if not for a free book offering? How many indie-authors have you tried in the past year? How have these changes in publishing changed your reading habits or the books you’ll consider reading?
As with any evolution in business that makes quantum leaps in a few years, due to technological advancements (e-readers), there will be bumps and bruises for both sides. But in the end, I believe the revolution that we are now living through will ultimately be viewed as blood transfusion that saved a dying industry.