Sunday, January 24, 2010

It's a New World for Publishing, New World for Authors and It's Getting Better All the Time


This post may at first seem to be old news for you, but I do have something additional to add to what you may aleady know so hang in there.

This post may at first seem to be a downer. Trust me. It isn't. So hang in there. (-:

First what appearedto be bad news at the end of 2009:

The famous review journal Kirkus was expected to close its doors. Editors and Publishers magazine (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2009/12/stopping-the-presses-venerable-media-watcher-ep-to-cease-publication.html) already has. This new-- coupled with other news of newspaper and magazine closures, bad profit reports in the publishing industry and more--can feel really, really discouraging to writers and even readers who want the best.

Of course, these two venerable institutions in the book and newspaper worlds will be missed. But here is the good news.

~ More books were self published than traditionally published in 2009. That's a first and it means more authors are utilizing the opportunities offered by easier, faster digital printing.

~ The models for publishing and promoting books have grown--one will work for your book if it is well written and timely. Publishing is becoming mix and match. Even large publishers are using POD models, digital presses and expecting more marketing expertise from their writers.

~ It was always difficult for self- and subsidy-published books to get reviews in journals like Kirkus. Its demise indicates that the review model is moving toward online review blogs and, generally, they are much easier to approach for reviews than the biggies were.

By the way, you will find a list of review journals (both the big print journals are more accessible print and online publications) on my Web site's Resources for Writers page, www.budurl.com/WritersResources.)

~That we authors now have more power over our careers now comes with more responsibility. That is a good thing. A writer who knows marketing, formatting, indexing etc. is a writer who understands her or his industry better and that can only inform his or her writing.

In other words, dear subscribers, the reading and publishing world is cracking open like a three-minute egg. Old biases are disappearing along with the old institutions that discriminated against segments of the publishing industry. Give us a minute more and the world can be at our feet, no matter what our title, no matter what press we use, what format. Our books will be judged on content and that's just as it should be.

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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and two how to books for writers, The Frugal Book Promoter: How To Do What Your Publisher Won't and The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success. Her FRUGAL book for retailers is A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. She is also the author of the Amazon Short, "The Great First Impression Book Proposal". Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor blog.

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