Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Ever Changing Publishing Industry...

It seems like every time that you turn around, something else is happening in the publishing industry, either here in the United States or elsewhere abroad.  After many, many decades of stagnation, the pace of change is mind-boggling.

Consider the recent news from Kobo.  They have signed deals with one of the largest book retailers in Britain as well as (I think) the largest book retailer in France.  These retailers will carry Kobo ereaders in all of their retail stores, and Kobo will administer their online ebook stores.  This happened in the past 2 weeks.

Or think about the implications of the latest posting by Blake Crouch on Joe Konrath's blog.  He just returned from China where he was invited to speak at a large convention that had all of the major book publishers in China present.  Over there, authors are putting out new content BY THE DAY!  They are mastering the art of serialization of their content, and making a handsome payday to boot.

Of course, most of you (I'm guessing you are all from the U.S.?) know about Amazon's new offerings of different Kindle devices, plus the fact that they are snapping up authors, both new and established, at quite a pace.  And the fact that ebooks now represent a significant portion of sales across the board for publishers and retailers (well, at least those who sell them).

All of this has happened in just the last month or so.  Imagine what things will be like a year from now.  How many countries will you be able to sell your ebooks in?  Will you become a huge hit in Spain?  Maybe you'll strike a chord with people in Japan or Australia.  What happens when some company comes out with a color e-ink screen?  What happens when you can start incorporating video segments on ereaders for a more immersive experience?  Who will come up with the next innovative idea on how to use ereaders in new ways?

Writers have always been entrepreneurs, they just didn't really know it or were told that they were.  Every time they write something new, it's like building a new business.  Will customers (readers) come?  Will they like it?  Will they tell their friends to check you out?  What if everyone hates it?  Now, writers have a chance to spread their wings and try things that they've always wanted but just couldn't.  Those who have spent their lives in the traditional publishing mode can dip their toes in the new epublishing realm with something new, something different, something that their current publisher/agent had or would turn down in a heartbeat.  And they just might find some success.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again:  Now is an incredible time to be a writer!