Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Let's Talk

L. Diane Wolfe left an interesting comment on my blog not too long ago and I think the topic is worth discussing.

"With all of the rapid changes, how long before the old dinosaur publishing model finally collaspes? Self-published books exceeded traditional last year, ebooks are on the rise, small publishers are attacking niche audiences, and bookstores are dying - how long before the big giants in NY and their agents realize they no longer control the game?"

What do you think?

Thanks L. Diane for the great dissussion topic.

Do you have any writing related questions? Is there a subject you'd like to discuss? Let me know.


  1. Oh how I long for the collapse of the dinosaur. I tell you what, without it we are not at some great loss. The star rating system WILL alert readers to what is a great book and what is not. Publicity will still exist. In this day where if we wanted we could toss our novel's up for grabs on e-readers overnight, the slow as molasses system doesn't have much appeal left. The whole gate keeper system/mess is one big bottle neck, it's nothing but hurry up and wait if indeed you are lucky to find a gate keeper to peddle your wares in the first place. I pray we see something new in the very near future.

  2. I'm very interested to see what the next 2, 3 years are going to bring. I think big changes are coming and big publishers and agents should be worried....unless they start making some big changes of their own. Once digital readers become more reasonably priced.....ebooks are going to explode. Look at mp3 players now, compared to 5 years ago. Look at the amount of people who bought cd's 5 years ago compared to how many do now...... I don't know one kid who doesn't own an ipod or some other form of a digital music player. I frankly can't wait till digital readers explode...these gadgets are going to get more kids/teens to read. And more readers is a fantastic thing for the industry!

  3. Wow, thanks Lynnette! Didn't realize I was tossing out such an interesting discussion topic.

    My husband has a theory that bookstores will go the way of 'record' stores. Since so many people either download their music or order the CD online, music stores have dwindled to almost nothing. Between online physical sales and EBooks, bookstores will likely go the same way. And since the big boys in NY all rely on bookstore sales, they will either change or go under.
    Several of the big sites selling EBooks stil cater to the big publishers with guidelines that state they only accept EBooks for their store from established presses with 25 or more titles. (I think that's Sony's policy.) So smaller publishers and self-pubbed authors still need to press for acceptance.

    L. Diane Wolfe “Spunk On A Stick”

  4. "no longer control the game?"

    No way--they *ARE* in control. More self-pubbed books may have been published, but 99.99% of them suck--and the big name publishers and the general reading audience knows it.

    Publishing won't change for a loooong time. And this is coming from someone who loves new technology and is excited about the chances ebooks hold. Perhaps, with the advent of better and cheaper ebook readers, ebooks will gain a greater audience, but I foresee that being more along the lines of iTunes-esque downloading (in other words, still controlled by the big name NY publishers). Furthermore, ebooks will never replace book stores or paper books--not 100%, no in our lifetimes.

  5. It's very scary to look at it the way L. Diane painted it, but I hope it's just a slump. Maybe we'll find an upswing again.

  6. I don't think self-publishing will ever eclipse the traditional routes--mainly because people want to know someone (besides the author) thought the book was good enough to publish before they buy it. (I know I do.)

    But I do think ebooks are going to change a lot of things. No one is more hard core about the love of a physical book or the experience of a brick and mortar bookstore than me. However, when I broke and bought a Kindle, I was like uh-oh, this is kind of awesome. So if I can be converted, others can too.

    Remember when people used to talk about how people would want to have a physical album/tape/CD in their hands not just a digital file? Well, we see how that turned out.

  7. It makes my head swim to think about all the changes that might be made in the publishing world. I'm taking a wait-and-see approach. But I'm hoping that bookstores are able to make it because I can't imagine how I'd survive without them.

  8. LOL Right now I'm more worried about the FDIC than the bookstores. :-) But eventually, somehow, things will change. I just don't know how....

  9. I will always love holding a book in my hands as I read. My eyes need the break from looking at a computer screen all day, so I don't want to go to e-books. So I'm hoping the dinosaur won't collapse. But wishes can't always support an industry.

  10. Thanks for your great comments. I have too much to reply to here, so I'll make another post out of it.

    Lynnette Labelle