Authors are in a time of publishing transition. We can no longer hope for the old way to return, though I believe we can count on some of the old ways to remain. There will be eBooks and pBooks. eBooks might dominate. Pity those poor chaps who revelled in writing on scrolls.
I excerpt this quote from the following article. It sums up what most bothers me about this transition:
"To me, it seems disrespectful…that a ‘wannabe’ assumes it’s all so easy s/he can put out a ‘published novel’ without bothering to read, study, or do the research. … Self-publishing is a short cut and I don’t believe in short cuts when it comes to the arts. I compare self-publishing to a student managing to conquer Five Easy Pieces on the piano and then wondering if s/he’s ready to be booked into Carnegie Hall" - Sue Grafton
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Publishing Is Broken, We're Drowning In Indie Books - And That's A Good Thing
I love books. Physical books. Books that sit in my lap and warm it like a sleeping pup. Three and a half years ago, I had an e-reader unwillingly thrust upon me. I ignored it at first; shunned it. Then one day I was packing for a long trip and it came on me in a flash that if I used the damned thing I wouldn’t have to limit myself to five pounds of books in my luggage.
Since then I read more ebooks than physical books. I buy a lot more books, too. Last year I noticed that books were getting cheaper, but the writing was getting worse. It started to get harder and harder to shop the Kindle store because I was either upset by the price of a book or the quality of its writing. Accidentally, I had stumbled upon the new face of self-publishing.
My experience reflects a profound and wrenching transformation of publishing that is shaking the industry to its roots. The beneficiaries of the existing order – major publishers and their most successful authors have become the most visible opponents of the turmoil that these “Indie” authors have introduced.
Which is too bad, because careful examination suggests that this period of chaos will eventually yield significant rewards for both authors and consumers. It even points a way forward for traditional publishers who have faced years of declining profits.