By Martha Reed
Last night I watched the movie Social Media, about the advent of Facebook and the business chaos it inspired, and as I sat there watching it I kept thinking: This has a lot of application to what it happening in the publishing business today, too. I’ve repeatedly heard at conferences and workshops that what’s happening to authors today is very similar to what happened to musicians with Napster five years ago.
We’re experiencing the concept of direct content (via eBooks), we’re questioning the old business model structure and pay breakout, ie., author/agent/editor/Publishing house. I’ve seen concerns over copyright. And these are all good discussions to have, in any situation.
The question, as I gaze into my murky crystal ball, is what is an author to do?
For example: I have a completed manuscript in the pipeline. I’m following the traditional publication route, querying agents, etc. but I’m also reading everything I can get my hands on about the publishing marketplace. I get discouraged to see that agents, desperate now because of the inflow of out of work former editors who are morphing into agents seem to be following a herd mentality by only looking for YA supernatural because they think that’s where the money is post-Twilight. Maybe it is. But Sisters in Crime paid for a survey that indicated a majority of readers were women between 50-70 years old who lived in the southern states. I’m sure some of them are reading Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse, but there must be room in there for other trend lines that are not YA paranormal.
What are your thoughts on the current marketplace? What publishing strategies are you choosing to follow? Inquiring Mind wants to know.