|A Sunset to One Region is a Sunrise in Another Part of the World:|
So the Ebb and Flow of Publishing
The truth? Traditional publishers are struggling, grasping at straws, mostly accepting manuscripts from already well-known authors, like James Patterson, in hopes they'll sell. Well, Patterson is falling in favor and young adult titles are taking the lead, and many of those titles selling by the millions are independently published.
As a writer, take time to explore the industry before making a decision as to your path. One resource is Publisher's Weekly at publishersweekly.com, who now reviews self-published works, even publishes a select number. Peruse a few "Select" reviews and note the quality of plot and story, the interesting characters described, which are as good as any in your local B&N. These are not slouches, lazy writers.
Sure, if you wish to go the traditional route, give it a good try, but know this: publishers buy concept, will sometimes rewrite your work, and will only buy what sells. What is selling today? Hmmm... the world of publishing would have us think every reader has gone mad and only feeds their mind with violence, vampiric fantasy.
Now, I've gleaned an article from New York Times and pasted portions below. Though it's a few years old, still shows a tad of today's reality. Seek to stay true to the story you've created and never, ever allow your work and good name to be sold "down the river". Whatever route you take, make certain that you get professional critiques, edit and rewrite, and then hire proper editor services for your work, that is, unless you're picked up by a traditional press who will assign an editor.
Be Inspired... to excel! -G.H. Sherrer
The New York Times January 7, 2009
"Many people incorrectly assume that profit is the sole motive for self-publishing. For many writers, creating the work and then sharing it is its own reward."
Todd R. Lockwood, Burlington, VT
Self-Publishers Flourish as Writers Pay the Tab
By Motoko Rich
"The point may soon come when there are more people who want to write books than there are people who want to read them. At least, that is what the evidence suggests. Booksellers, hobbled by the economic crisis, are struggling to lure readers. Almost all of the New York publishing houses are laying off editors and pinching pennies. Small bookstores are closing. Big chains are laying people off or exploring bankruptcy.
"A recently released study by the National Endowment for the Arts found that while more people are reading literary fiction, fewer of them are reading books.
"Meanwhile, there is one segment of the industry that is actually flourishing: capitalizing on the dream of would-be authors to see their work between covers, companies that charge writers and photographers to publish are growing rapidly at a time when many mainstream publishers are losing ground.
"As traditional publishers look to prune their booklists and rely increasingly on blockbuster best sellers, self-publishing companies are ramping up their title counts and making money on books that sell as few as five copies, in part because the author, rather than the publisher, pays for things like cover design and printing costs.
"In 2008, nearly 480,000 books were published or distributed in the United States, up from close to 375,000 in 2007, according to the industry tracker Bowker. The company attributed a significant proportion of that rise to an increase in the number of print-on-demand books.
"For some authors, the appeal of self-publishing is that they can put their books on the market much faster than through traditional publishers.
"Of course, authors who take this route also give up a lot. Not only do they receive no advance payments, but they also often must pay out of their own pockets before seeing a dime. They do not have the benefit of the marketing acumen of traditional publishers, and have diminished access to the vast bookstore distribution pipeline that big publishers can provide.
"During an economic downturn, books tailored to such narrow audiences may fare better than titles from traditional publishers that depend on a more general appeal.
"Louise Burke, publisher of Pocket Books, said publishers now trawl for new material by looking at reader comments about self-published books sold online. Self-publishing, she said, is “no longer a dirty word.”
"Diamonds in the rough, though, remain the outliers. “For every thousand titles that get self-published, maybe there’s two that should have been published,” said Cathy Langer, lead buyer for the Tattered Cover bookstores in Denver, who said she had been inundated by requests from self-published authors to sell their books. “People think that just because they’ve written something, there’s a market for it. It’s not true.”"