~Quickly before my post, just wanted to say if you’re in the San Diego are today, I’ll be speaking and signing at the Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore at 7 p.m. tonight with fellow author Julie Kramer. Mysterious Galaxy is located at 7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., Suite 302, San Diego, CA 92111. Hope to see you there.
And since I’m on the road today, I may not be able to reply to comments, so I ask your forgiveness ahead of time. ~
One thing we writers need to be is flexible. This is especially true in our current economy and in the rapidly changing world of publishing.
We all know that the traditional routes to publicity – newspaper reviews, printed ads and the like – are quickly disappearing. Now we all must try to get as many online reviews as possible. Each of these may have a smaller readership than the newspaper reviews, but added together can potentially deliver as many readers as the traditional reviews used to.
Publishers are now starting to catch on to this whole online world, too. And it’s not just the reviews. My own publisher has organized a blog tour for me through the month of August on sites that will, hopefully, expand my fanbase. We’ve seen these blog tours before with such folks as J.A. Konrath and M.J. Rose, and my guess is we’ll be seeing many, many more. In fact, the whole area of marketing is evolving, and I’m sure we will see new oportunities and paths to get our names out there that haven’t even be thought up yet in the near future.
But when I say we need to be flexible, I don’t just mean marketing-wise. A sad fact is that some publishers are cutting mid-list writers, setting us adrift into a void where the future is far from clear. These untethered authors are forced to reinvent themselves or face the reality that our published years are behind us. Maybe this means a switch of genre, but more likely it means writing under a pseudonym for true reinvention. If we wish to continue in the business, we must be willing to take that step, and adapt…to be flexible.
Even authors who are under contract, with publishers who support them, need to not just sit still as if everything is fine. If we do, it’s like driving a car with our eyes closed. We need to do whatever we can to help our careers by being proactive with our publishers, presenting ideas that will benefit both them and us. We need to also listen to their suggestions, and work together more than ever to build the brand each of us are trying to establish. We also need to recognize opportunities that are presented to us, even if they are scary, and mean we have to take chances. We need to be willing to jump, because we can’t afford to assume everything is going to be fine.
And for those of us who are not yet published, we need to realize that, especially this year, times are tough, and a lot of authors who might have gotten deals in a normal year, have not. But this doesn’t mean it won’t happen. We need to be patient, flexible, and always persistant.
Going forward we all also need to keep flexible with publishing itself. Over the next decade things are going to change. At some point, digital book sales are going to overtake sales of physical books. What is that going to mean to the traditional publishing world? Who knows? But whatever world we find ourselves in doesn’t have to be bad. it will just be different. We have to be ready for it.
And if we are flexible, and roll with the punches, it can also be good world.
Okay writers, where are you in your careers? What do you see the future bringing?
And readers, does the future of books concern you? How do you see yourself reading a book in ten years? Digitally? Or the traditional current method?