Thursday, 26 April 2012

Being an aspiring author in 2012

These are interesting times in which to be an aspiring author.
  • The rise of the eBooks
  • Amazon's increasing power over the book trade
  • Apple's attempts to subvert publishing to their own ends
  • The American DOJ accusing Apple and the Big Six of collusion over agency pricing
  • TOR announcing that they will be dropping the DRM on their eBooks.
What is happening to the book trade? How is this all going to play out? In 5 years time, how will the dice have fallen?

And, nearest to my heart, what will this upheaval mean for writers?


Know your starting point

People who have established careers are going to have to move with the times, in a direction as yet to be fully determined.

People who are breaking through now have the most freedom and control over their careers that writers have ever had. They can do whatever they want. Self-publish eBooks. Fund print runs through Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or similar services. Go the traditional route. Make up their own innovative publication career utilising one or more of many other options available (subscription, giving works away for free, podcasting. Tweeting. Whatever.) These people are lucky.

But what about me? No matter how impatient I feel about it, I will not be good enough at novel writing to be publishable for some years yet. I know this, and grudgingly accept it. (And then I put my butt back in that chair and get back to work.) By the time I am a published author, what will the publishing world look like? What hoops will I have to jump through?


Get informed

Sans TARDIS, all I can do at this juncture is get educated about the book industry so that I can make educated guesses, and be ready to move when I can see where to go.

Some blogs I have been reading recently:
I've gained valuable information and insights into the changing publishing landscape from reading all of these blogs. I recommend taking a look at what they have to offer.


My hopes for the future

I hope that one day I will be publishing in a world that favours diversity of options. I hope that I will get books published by publishing houses in the legacy manner. I hope that I will also be self-publishing works, perhaps short series of novellas, to diversify my income stream. I also hope that I will be able to experiment with alternative publishing models and mixed media projects.

What are your thoughts on where the publishing industry is headed? Please leave your comments below.

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