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The Future of Publishing version 10.7.3*

May 11, 2011

In case you missed it yesterday (on account of not normally listening to NPR), here’s a link to the story on Morning Edition about an “upstart” e-publishing company lead by a former HarperCollins CEO called “Open Road Media”

I don’t really have anything to add to that, except that, yes, the publishing world is changing.  And, frankly… I don’t know where it’s going, yet.  I just hope it’s someplace where authors can make a decent living doing what they love.  (It’d also be really cool if it was someplace where more people were reading, but that’s an unrelated and perhaps unrealistic wish.)

*Note: the version number on “The Future Of Publishing ™” is wholly fictional.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 11, 2011 2:47 pm

    It’s changing really quickly. These are interesting times! I have a bit more to say on a post for tomorrow. Right now, I haven’t made my mind on anything, and I’m waiting to see what happens, because it keeps changing. I’ll need to do some serious thinking when the book’s done. And I agree… I’d like to see authors making a decent living from writing, however which way.

    • May 11, 2011 2:51 pm

      Yeah, I’m holding my own mind, keeping my own counsel as well. Nobody knows where these dice are going to fall, as yet. And there’s a lot of misinformation – methinks on both sides of the digital/traditional divide – enough to make one’s head spin. So I’ll see where things end up before I jump into this. That, and I don’t even have a finished novel yet, so it would be premature to say which way I’d want to take it when I do. Good luck to you and however you plan to take your own work!

  2. May 12, 2011 11:13 am

    Thanks for sharing, Stephen. I know Austin James talks a lot about e-publishing, and it’s not something I was very interested in at first. I know I’d like to go through the whole traditional publishing submission process first, but if that falls through I sure wouldn’t hesitate to check it out.

    Like you all say, it’ll be interesting to see how this develops. The whole 50/50 deal sounds nice, though there’s the issue of marketing… Lots of things to consider.

    • May 12, 2011 11:27 am

      You’re right, there a lot of things to consider. My own goal is to be successful in the traditional publishing world as well. But I’m slowly growing apprehensive of that goal… If it’s true that many authors are making a lot more money by self-pubbing and selling e-books of their backlist novels (such as Konrath and others like him are touting), then it’s a long-term career suicide, financially speaking, to sign a traditional publishing deal that gives the traditional publishers any kind of long-term rights to publish e-books – but I understand that more and more publishers are demanding something basically akin to a perpetual license to publish e-books of any books they publish traditionally, leaving new authors with a miserly royalty on e-book sales (and potentially taking a huge, huge chunk out of the revenue potential authors could be making). As someone who’s goal is to make a living from my writing, I’m not willing to leave money like that on the table. At the same time, I strongly suspect that going it alone is as likely to lead me to success as I am of buying the winning lottery ticket (and both noticeably less likely than getting struck down by lightning, statistically speaking). For new, unpublished writers (and in the world of novels, I’m still unpublished, obviously), that’s a catch-22 so huge it’s scary. So, I follow this news pretty closely. Because eventually it’s going to shake out, and hopefully, in time, there will be enough clear information to help those of us unpublished authors chart a course that makes sense for ourselves.

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