Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes... by Cathy Ace

How has the book industry changed since your first release, and polishing your best crystal ball, where do you see the book industry heading in the next ten years? 

Another question where the timing couldn’t be better. Why? I received the contract for my first published novel in the mail on May 11th 2011 – eleven years ago to the very day! An exceedingly happy anniversary. The book wasn’t published until March 2012, but eleven years ago today I felt good!!

Eleven years ago!!!
Contract for The Corpse with the Silver Tongue...
the little cast iron snail relates to the book (you'll have to 
read it to find out how!)

So, what’s changed in the past eleven years? If I said “almost everything” I don’t think I’d be overstating the case. The big publishers have gobbled up even more mid-sized publishers; there are more “imprints” and fewer mid-sized houses; there’s been a rash of new independent small houses opening up, some just publishing e-books; as publishers have crashed and burned, many authors have been orphaned; the growth of self publishing has been exponential; the growth in the popularity of listening to books as opposed to reading them has grown tremendously. Oh…and there’s been a pandemic which messed up everything that hadn’t already changed, and now there are other factors hitting the supply chain, which is impacting the availability of paper and ink…so there’s that, too.

But you probably knew all that…

Back then I was delighted to be traditionally published by a small independent Canadian house: TouchWood Editions published my first eight Cait Morgan Mysteries, within that timeframe Severn House published my four WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries…then TouchWood dumped me, Severn House was sold to Canongate  (I didn’t re-sign with them), and I set up Four Tails Publishing Ltd. to indie-publish my own books. I have now published a collection of short stories, another of novellas, and four Cait Morgan novels, so I now live a very different life in terms of “being a full time author” than I ever used to – and I’m happy 😊

We had four Labradors when I set up the company
and I like the play on Four/For and Tails/Tales LOL!!!

As for what might change in the future, well, if I knew, I’d sell that information to the highest bidder! What I think might happen is…more of the same. More love of beautiful, printed books for those who can afford them; more popular 99cents e-books for those who read a lot on e-readers; (hopefully) more use of libraries; more people listening to books; more orphaned authors moving to self publish. But, honestly, if I re-read this blog post in another eleven years’ time, I won’t be surprised to discover I was totally wrong. I don’t even know if I’ll still be writing then – though I hope so 😊

I'm delighted that The Corpse with the Iron Will, the tenth Cait Morgan Mystery, has been shortlisted for The Howard Engel Award for Best Crime Novel Set in Canada, one of the Crime Writers of Canada's Awards of Excellence. It's the only self-published book to be shortlisted - which makes me even more proud! 

PS: May 11th is also my late-father's birthday; on the day this blog post is published, I'll be visiting his grave in Wales, with my mum and sister, honouring the memory of the man who helped make me the woman I am. He encouraged me to believe I could become anyone I wanted to become, achieve anything I put my heart and soul into...and I hope he'd be proud of his daughter today.



Susan C Shea said...

I'm sure your father would be thrilled at the successes you've created, Cathy. You're so right about all the changes that have and will continue to re-create the world of books. BTW, I love "Four Tails" and the puns within the title.

Josh Stallings said...

Cathy, yes yes and again yes. Print, ebooks, audio and library. Getting books in hands by any means is the real point isn't? Readers make critical thinkers and better world citizens!
I have discovered audio books linked to my kindle books, so I can listen while commuting to be with Dylan and pick up where I left off in the ebook at night. Really is amazing technology.