The Changing Face of Publishing

by Trish

Announced late last week, book publishers Dorchester and Medallion will no longer be publishing print mass-market paperbacks and will only publish ebook versions from now on.

This is just the start. Acclaimed novelist and ebook author J.A. Konrath predicts this is the beginning of a sooner than we think collapse of print publishers who in his words, “will continue to alienate both authors and customers with low royalties and high ebook prices and their dedication to print.”

But he isn’t attacking print publishers as an ebook author. He’s pleading with them to change their ways and to become smarter about their business. We all watched the music industry in its failure to change with the tide. We all hope the publishing industry does NOT go the same way. I love books. I love writing books. I love editing books. I love thinking up books and how to market them. I am not happy that publishers aren’t figuring this out. The news that Barnes & Noble is up for sale last week made me unhappy. I love bookstores.

But I love what is coming. I love my Kindle and my iPad (I read books on both devices.) I love downloading free and paid ebooks from the Internet. I love this new content stream coming my way. No longer do I have to wait a year and a half to read something I’m ready to read right now. I love the diversity in prices.

I love the fact that more and more people are figuring out how to sell more books, including Konrath. He’s also figuring out how to write more books. For him (and for those of us who read his books), this is a good thing. It’s also good for his agent. It’s good for the marketplace. Quality novels that are easy to get our hands on.

I am perplexed by those who are worried or afraid. There is no need to be worried or afraid. Sure, you may not sell your “print” book, just like I did not sell a print book in 2010. I sold the same content in a different format in 2010. It’s not even an ebook, it ended up being a course textbook used only online! I now have my other version (the print version) being considered by a different publisher. This is good news! There are more opportunities than ever.

Me, the glass-half-full girl, drives some authors and publishing industry insiders crazy. I will not shut up though. Back in the late 1990s, when I was trying to sell my print books to anyone who would buy them, I was told that there were only budgets for “sure sells.”

The game has changed, my friends. A sure sell NOW is another format of a well-written book, whether it’s an ebook, a course textbook, or a print book. It’s time to face the challenge and get creative!

What are you trying to sell to print publishers? Is there another way? What other format would your book work in?

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