Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Publishing Changes

Quote of the Day:  You don't choose a story, it chooses you.  You get together with that story somehow; you're stuck with it.  There certainly is some reason it attracted you, and you're writing it trying to find out the reason. - Robert Penn Warren

That's what it is for me, dear reader friends.  The story is calling me and I must write it, my drama Coffee Shop Confessions.  As I'm about to fall asleep, I wake myself with a piece of dialogue that will fit my Lolly character.  Or, I'm having lunch with friends, and we're talking cars or kids or waxing or breastfeeding, and I whip out my stack of notecards and write "scene idea" at the top.  It's like I've been sent to an oxygen bar and have been sucking in new energy with every breath.  Scriptfrenzy starts tomorrow (April 1)!  I have my notecards filled, my laptop charged, and my coffee card ready.  Let the writing begin!

Before I go, I'd like to share a great newsletter post from Hope Clark.  She has a blog and an online newsletter, in which she wrote this great insight on the changes in publishing.  This is for anyone interested in the publishing world as a writer and a reader.  Books aren't dead.  Even cats still love them.  But, we shouldn't be afraid of the newest ways to get our words out to people.  Enjoy the pic of the twins and Matilda enjoying storytime, and Hope Clark's words.

Used with permission from Hope Clark.  (You will all enjoy the youtube video that she shares.)


In case you've not surfed the publishing news lately, this YouTube video came out entitled The Future of Publishing. It's amazing people from newbies to seasoned agents and publishers. Make sure you watch it all the way through in order to glean the effect.
Bottom line is that reading material is here to stay. Unless you live under a rock, you've heard all the controversy and hoopla about electronic reading devices, ebook contract squabbles between publishing houses and Amazon, ebook pricing and ebook release strategies.

Yes, it's time you understood about ebooks. No, you don't have to go crazy, but just like you must digest the differences between self-publishing and traditional publishing, you need to realize the nature of ebooks. They are a separate negotiable item these days - another rights issue. Don't care to study the details? Land an agent. Don't care to use a literary agent? Then bone-up on ebooks, because you'll have to decide how you want your book presented to the world.

People on list groups, blogs and chats get a little flustered about ebooks, as if publishing is on the brink of destruction. It's not. It's modernizing. Do you realize that the evolution of the paperback book consumed the entire decade of the 1930's?

Albatross Books originated the concept but failed. Penguin picked up the baton and ran with it four years later, and a few years after that Pocket Books sprouted through Simon & Schuster. In the late 30's they were faddish, and accepted.

Point is that publishing methods will change over our lifetimes.

Why get hung up on whether you'll publish hardback, paperback or electronically? Consider them all. Welcome them all. Offer to be open to any and all methods.

Same goes for selling. You can't sell online without understanding how Amazon works, how electronic books work, how platforms work. You can't sell via bookstores without understanding returns, distribution, retail and wholesale values. Part of the fear and uncertainty comes from lack of understanding. Educate yourself
and remove the doubt.

Embrace all manner of the written word. Be willing to sell your words via all channels. The point is to write and spread your stories across the masses. Who cares how they buy it?

No, publishing isn't dead, as so many cynics have expressed of late. Publishing is growing. Some of us are just enduring growing pains.
Journaling Prompt:  What kind of books would you download onto your electronic device?  Do you have the latest greatest e-reader?  Do you want one?

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