Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Here be dragons

Brave New World: Publishers and booksellers are perishing. But how are e-books, online bookstores, self-publishing and other new industry developments affecting authors? Is it a great time to be a new writer or are things too shaky for comfort?

By Vicki Delany

To be honest, I’m glad I’m not starting out today.

Everyone’s writing a book; publishers are cutting back the number of books published, and paying smaller advances; bookstores are closing taking opportunities for meeting the reading public with them. 
Plus, I have to wonder that with the rise of the Internet, Social Media, (look a cute cat!) instantly available TV and movies, if people are reading less.

More writers, less readers.

But, as things stand right now, as a traditionally published author, I have the best of both worlds. My publishers ensure that the books are placed in libraries and in bookstores.  I know that when I go on a book tour or to an Independent bookstore for a signing, the books will be ordered, delivered, and ready for me when I arrive.   ARCs are sent out and thus reviews get placed in the trade magazines, and in some newspapers.

My publishers also put the e-book formats up on places such as Amazon, B&N, Kobo etc. And then it’s up to me to get the word out to people who are interested in getting the book onto their e-devices directly, by using social media and doing guest blogs etc.  There’s nothing better than making a contact through social media, and then a couple of minutes later them telling you they’ve bought your book.

So yes, it’s a worry that newspapers are cutting drastically back on book review space and that bookstores are closing all over and that in some places even libraries are having their budgets slashed.  It’s increasingly becoming an effort to keep active on Facebook and Twitter etc. and be heard above all the roar of self-promotion going on.

But no one ever said having a successful career as a professional author was going to be easy.


Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

I'm with you, Vicki, so glad I'm not just starting out.

Melodie Campbell said...

You echoed all my thoughts, Vicki, but in a much better way than I could. I grieve the loss of physical book stores, and grumble when I have to promote via social media. You remind me to be grateful that Orca Books does so much for us.