There is a lot of doom and gloom in the publishing world now a days. The book is dead. "Real" writers can't make money, people are only buying books by celebrities. People don't read anymore. Bookstores are coming to an end. Writers are becoming obsolete.
I don't buy it. I also wonder who's spreading these rumours.
If anything, people are reading more than ever. In my house at any given moment you will find at least two out of the four people reading. Often it's online but it is still reading. Words that must be written by someone, a writer. Books are not dead, they may be changing form but they are certainly not dead. And as for writers, as far as I'm concerned this may be the best time in history to be a writer.
I spent Saturday doing research about ebooks and I became more and more hopeful. Unless you are a rock star writer, the traditional model of publishing has eroded to such an extent that it really does not look good for most of us. If you want your book to have any sort of success you need to know how to market , you need to know the business. Your publisher will require you to be an active part of the marketing team. On top of that, if the book doesn't sell to their expectations you'll be dropped. The traditional model is harsh and getting harsher. But the upside is that the traditional model of publishing is on it's way out. The power is shifting away from agents and big publishing houses and towards writers and smaller independent publishers. People are changing roles. Writers need to be marketers. Agents are becoming publishers. Booksellers are becoming publishers. Writers are also becoming publishers.
On Saturday, I read this article at Kristine Kathryn Rusch blog. Things are changing and they're changing fast. One thing I found hopeful is that you don't have to choose either or. You don't have to run from your traditional publishers and only self publish. Although I'm in the process of self publishing a collection of my short stories, I won't stop doing business with traditional publishers. It will depend on the book. I'm currently working on a book I hope to sell to a publisher that only publishes and distribute ebooks. I could self publish but in this instance, with this book I think this is a better way to go. The choices available to writers are myriad and the power is in our hands. It really is a great time to be a writer. We have all sorts of control over our careers, and we have endless choices of how we want to do things.
I'm going to embrace the change. I'm not fighting it any more. What about you?