Advance review copies of DAKOTA are headed out to reviewers! The official publication date is in three months: November 1.
Archive for August, 2010
Brave New Publishing World Impacts Authors of Fiction
By Brenda K Marshall
When I finished my first novel, Mavis, my literary agent sold it to a New York publisher, and the machinery of the publication process kicked in. A well-known author wrote a blurb for the back cover, an artist designed the front cover, marketing specialists distributed promotional material, the editor ensured that the book was reviewed in major publications, and a publicist set up book readings and radio and newspaper interviews. I was given 1,000 postcards to send to potential readers, to hand out at readings and to friends.
It was all a lot of fun.
That was almost 15 years ago, and the publishing world has changed dramatically in response to a perfect storm of events. A decade ago a series of mergers reduced the number of independent publishing houses, reducing competition within the industry. More importantly, today’s information technology means there is no longer one industry that controls what is published: we blog, we tweet, words are everywhere. And then, an economic recession slammed the troubled industry. In response, mainstream publishers grew cautious, putting their financial resources into known money makers: formulaic fiction from best-selling authors, celebrity biographies, and “how-to” books. Writers of “midlist” fiction (literary novels by non-celebrity authors) suddenly found it all but impossible to get published by a major publishing house.
But are these changes all bad? Not necessarily. Although some writers argue that self-publication results in a profusion of mediocre work, others say that the brave new publishing world reflects the democratization of information. Everyone with a computer and an internet connection is a potential writer.
So what are we to do? Publish where we can, when we can, however we can. And then we set up our Web sites, we blog, we tweet, we connect any way possible with readers. Because one thing doesn’t change: we write because we have a story to share.