Patricia Briggs is a fantastic author. I have everything she’s ever written and look forward to reading more of her work. Frequently her husband, Mike, blogs for her on
http://www.hurog.com/. He recently wrote a blog entitled In Defense of Publishers. Anyone interested in publishing a book should read it and the article that inspired his comments:
Never having published or even tried to I can only cringe at the thought. It’s not really something I look forward to attempting if I decide to head that way. I’ve read enough horror stories in articles from agents, authors and the like over the years that I’ve got a little bit of a phobia about the whole thing.
Mike’s blog addresses the complaints many have pertaining to publishing and points out there is both good and bad things in the industry. Laura Miller’s is a little more specific in regards to the demise of the publishing industry over all. Her concern was more along the lines of what happens to the quality of writing if the publishing companies aren’t there to vet it? What about the huge amount of work, good and bad, that will flood the market? And how long will it be before the general reader gets tired of vetting the poor quality writing being pushed at them? She has a point.
Personally, I read by author and I have been reading off and on about the publishing industry for years. Not sure why. It just fascinates me who publishes what or whom and why. That might help those of us who are more into that sort of thing than others but alot of people I talk to read in general or by genre. They don’t know who wrote the book and they don’t care. All they want is a good book. Can you imagine how much of a problem it would be for them if the market was all of a sudden flooded with a lot of stuff by people who don’t have a clue about writing? I’m not sure that would ever happen but it’s the stuff of nightmares.
What is obvious is the industry is changing. Who knows? Whole new job markets could spring up of book reviewers or perhaps readers could join exclusive book clubs who’ve vetted the best books if the publishing industry no longer does so. There’s all kinds of possibilities.
Publishing companies are no longer the end all or be all of book publishing. There are so many options available these days but I don’t think they’ll disappear altogether either. For certain they’ll have to learn to become more competitive and perhaps narrow their markets down to specific genres, age groups, etc. A little competition is good for everyone in that it inspires innovation and gives the consumers more to choose from.
Several established authors have started publishing their original work and selling it on their websites. The ones I’m aware of so far are CJ Cherryh, Jane Fancher and Barbara Hambly. Barbara in particular has tried to sell further adventures in several of her series but has not been able to do so except for the James Asher books (yay!). So she decided to write a series of short stories for both her fans and herself and from what she’s said the response has been very good. I was thrilled with Firemaggot from the Windrose Chronicles. That’s an option for established popular authors. Probably not so great an option for new authors.
I do know this. I love my paper. I know everyone is expecting the market to go mostly electronic. I’m somewhere between worried and horrified. Oh, I’ve got a couple of e books. It’s ok. But I worry my computer will go down and I’ll lose my stuff and as it happens it did go down but thank God my stuff wasn’t gone. I’ve got it backed up but you know I don’t have to back up my paper books. Then there’s upgrades. Tracey had downloaded a bunch of music but because the software she used was upgraded she lost her music. I don’t have to worry about upgrades with my paper. Sure, it’s a pain to pack it up when you move but it’s a welcome pain. I’ve got books from when I was a kid. I love their smell, texture and look. I love going to the bookstore and interacting with other people as we point out our favs. Can you do that with ebooks? Nope.
Plenty of food for thought here.