This is a fascinating article on book publishing in the era of digitization — it deconstructs the industry, showing how the pie is divided (as writers know, it’s not so great for writers), and how this will likely change with increasing digitization; the three big waves currently hitting the industry; and what a future of e-products might look like for authors, agents, publishers, and bookstores.
In this forecast I see some good news and some bad news.
- Good news for most/bad news for Stephen King: The end of advances
- Good news: Authors getting a bigger share of the pie
- Bad news: Authors creating the finished product (Sorry, we’re not all designers, and I’m betting there are plenty of very good authors out there who have no idea what a comma splice is.)
- Good news/bad news: Online marketing replacing book tours (Yes, they can be “the bane of the author’s life,” but some of us actually like to meet our readers; does it always have to be about money? But online marketing offers opportunities above and beyond and clearly will and should play a larger role.)
- Good news: Retail bookstores might look more like community hang-out spots in future (We all want independent bookstores to survive, and to do so, the article suggests, they must offer coffee and snacks, free wi-fi, a few best-selling books and DVDs, and a way for patrons to order any book in the universe, while taking a cut of the transaction.)
Speaking of book tours, check out this essay about literary escorts in the weekend’s Sunday Book Review.
And speaking of the future of publishing, check out this article on book reviews of the future.
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