Friday, April 1, 2011

The Future of Publishing and why e-publishing works for Me


Credit: Free images from acobox.com





Like most other authors I'm keenly interested in what's happening in our very dynamic industry. The advent of the internet and e-publishing has truly altered the face of traditional print-based publishing. "The future of writing, reading and literacy is bright," says author, publisher, writer and blogger, Jane Friedman, but "the future of paper-based publishing is bleak."

I stepped into the world of e-publishing somewhat tentatively, still dogged by the feeling that this was a 'second best' option. Over the past 12 months my understanding has become greater and my perception has taken a turnaround. The possibilities of e-publishing are almost infinite for the hard-working writer. For me, one of the key differences is that I can write and be published in any length - word count is not such an issue. I've always been happiest when writing shorter. Writing and publishing novellas and stories of 10-15,000 words are now very achievable alternatives to the hard slog of the full-length novel. If that makes me lazy, I'm okay with it (and if I was offered a contract with one of the Big 6 would I take it? You bet!).

Friedman asserts that anyone working for a "legacy" publisher or agency is tied into working for that legacy structure. People who are able to work outside of it with models that aren't dependent on keeping legacy profit margins and revenue models intact, will have an easier time adapting. This resonates with me. Throughout my life, and not deliberately, I've had a tendency to be outside the mainstream. Being resourceful and adaptive are personality traits that have come in handy.

How does Jane Friedman's take on the future of e-publishing fit with your perspective and the possibilities for your own work?

16 comments:

  1. Very interesting, and I am in full agreement with you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for stopping by, Beth. There's so much information to get a grip on, but it is SO interesting!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think it takes a big step to publish e-book instead of flogging the query path to traditional publishing. I agree the landscape is changing, the question is how fast will that change be? There seems to be a good argument to publish in both. I have some Paranormal shorts (15,000 words) which I think would suit e-book. Would it be best to publish them e-book now, or wait until I publish traditional and use the e-books as value added for readers. I'll make up my mind about that soon.
    I'm glad e-book suits you Leigh :). It isn't a second best option - it's a positive choice.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks Tyree. I totally agree about publishing in both print and digital. I'm such a snail with word count so my current strategy is to produce several historical shorts a year. For some unknown reason, I don't see me doing this with contemporary romance.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Being a computer geek and Internet junkie, I jumped on board with ePublishing from the start, but only through traditional avenues (i.e., query letter, rejections, keep trying, finally have someone show interest, get published). However, the recent success of Ms. Hocking has encouraged me to pursue my own ePublishing for shorter stories and Amazon and Smashwords make that possible. I've learned through her experiences (and my own), HIRE A FREELANCE EDITOR. They are worth their weight in gold to produce a professional manuscript.

    Great Post, Leigh! ;)

    That's my two pence...
    Arial ;)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for the two pence, Arial. You're so right about the professional editing.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Leigh,
    I've heard several authors, contracted with traditional print publishers, mention the disadvantages of being pigeon-holed into a certain genre. I guess it's a case of financial security vs creative freedom, in one way. E-publishing seems to allow more room to experiment.
    When I wrote my article on ereaders they were still a relative novelty, and viewed with scepticism. My prediction they'd become popular is coming true all around me, as friends who I thought wouldn't touch them with a barge pole, are buying them.
    The marketing power of the internet is amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Cherie. Your information was really helpful when I first entered the world of e-publishing. The ability to write shorter and continue to be published has only become apparent to me over the past few months but it really suits the way I write and my life's commitments just now.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Epublishing works for me for several reasons. My busy day job leaves me little time to write. Plus I'm a slow writer anyway. With smaller presses, there are no hard deadlines. I can also write what I want to write without being pigeon-holed into just one genre.

    I'd always dreamed of writing for a big, traditional publisher. Now...I wouldn't turn down a contract with one, but I won't be broken hearted if I'm never offered one.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Rebecca. I'm with you on all counts. Thanks for stopping by to comment.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I agree. I've posted several times on the bright future of e-publishing and indie authors. Print books will soon take a back seat to e-books if they haven't already. Printing books is just too costly compared to e-pubbing.
    Alison Chambers
    www.alisonchambersromance.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks for commenting, Sandra. I do still love to hold a book or magazine so, as a reader, print publishing still has a place for me. As a writer and someone who loves fooling with computers, e-publishing is an exciting, ongoing adventure.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm fascinated by the way the whole publishing industry is changing. I'm not leaving anything off the table!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I think a new word will have to be found. 'Change' seems quite slow in comparison to how fast everything keeps spinning and evolving - hard to keep up with.

    ReplyDelete
  15. The e-publishing world is changing so much at present and evolving. It's an interesting time.

    I've written for e-pubs since 2004 and this medium suits me. I can write any length or genre and write things that are a little different or outside the box. I enjoy that freedom.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks, Shelley. Nice to meet another Kiwi author. I see you have many e-books published - what an inspiration!

    ReplyDelete