So what is the future of publishing? While at AWP, it’s great to dance to the happy beat of indie publishing busting down the gatekeepers and finding their own readers. It’s daunting to hear a semi-traditional small publisher say he wants new authors who bring an established audience with them as demonstrated through Facebook and Twitter stats. And then there is the Bookfair where only a small fraction of the thousands of unique small publications are available ranging in quality from one that comes out whenever the four guys have time to impressive names with deep history.
So it is a brave new world or it is a totally crazy world.
For those who have the time and a high sense of comfort with their work, publishing a completed book is possible in the next few hours. For those with high social media aptitude there will be an audience for that book. And from what writers are experiencing, the main difference in that equation for traditional publishing is assurance from pros that your book is of quality, some assistance in learning about social media and a 90 day window to hit the sweet spot in finding readers plus losing rights to your content. I have to think that owning the content might become the name of the future game.
Amazon has created a new playing field and millions are playing and paying. Sell a million books at 99 cents and make $300,000. Yikes! Sell one hundred books and make $30.00. If merely publishing is what makes your career successful, the entry point is easy. If feeding the kids is what you need, the bar is higher. A totally personal question.