Friday, November 11, 2011

The Ever Changing Publishing World

Writers, editors, publishers and readers are watching the publishing industry closely these days. Authors are just a few of those who are scratching our heads waiting to see how the changes will affect us.

Print sales are still in demand, but not as much as they used to be, and the tides are turning to e-books at a rapid pace. The variety of e-readers is appealing, popular and even kosher. There are different models in various colors and picking out the cover shows a flare of your personality. Publishers Weekly reported e-book buyers spend more money than those who buy print books, and more women than men own them and are over fifty. But it has also been said that this generation still values print books more than the up and coming.

Bad news for book stores, I have a harder time with this than the change to e-books. I still envision going into the book store with my e-reader to drink Starbucks even if there isn’t a print book in the entire store. Silly I know, but can’t they still put book covers around and create an aroma of book pages? I hope I don’t see the day when book stores are obsolete, but hopefully libraries will still be around for a long while.

The good news is that with the higher numbers due to print on demand, digital and self-publishing there are more publishers. Writers have more access than ever to create their own cover art, price, release date etc. And although some genres are more popular than others the variety of genres has gone up. No matter what you want to read or write, it’s out there or you can create it.

I've heard conflicting research on the future for writers. I’m sure that getting your book to stand out in the mass will become more difficult, but there has to be as many new stories to read as there are people who want to read them. They say writing as a profession may become harder in the future, but there are too many imaginative minds, and readers who want to sink into that creative world, for writers to give up their passion.

For me and my house…we’re going to continue to enjoy settling in at the local B&N to read a good book, e-reader or print, without the worries of what lies ahead. And I’ll never stop writing, whether what I write is published or not. It’s just what we do, and we can’t let the questionable future discourage the present.

These are bits are pieces of what I have heard about the publishing world. What can you share about what the future holds for the industry?
What about readers and their preferences?


Andrea Kuhn Boeshaar said...

At the ACFW Conference in St. Louis, I talked to a lot of authors who are self-publishing their books by uploading them to's Kindle. They enjoy being in total control of their writing careers. Yes, they still have the marketing to do -- more so, perhaps if they published with a traditional house.

As for me, I love books. But after my sons all moved out, my hubby and I bought a very small home. I don't have room for lots of books anymore. The e-readers are quite appealing in that regard.

That said, I heard is switching its format and what's out there now will soon become obsolete. YIPES!

Beth Shriver said...

Yipes is right! I wonder how that can be possible with all the Amazon books out there. Time will tell. Is Create Space the same at publishing Kindle? Questions, questions. Makes you appreciate being a part of a house like Charisma:)

Jillian Kent said...

There is some good news for the bookstores. BAM is buying the empty Borders stores:

Our local Joseph-Beth Booksellers has also bought one of the empty Borders stores near Cincinnati in Northern Kentucky. A year ago Joseph-Beth had been closing stores and declaring bankruptcy. A new leader emerged and now they are doing well and supplied the books for the Cincinnati Book Festival. We also have a couple of awesome Barnes & Noble stores as well.

I have no guess about what may happen for those of us who write, but I'm hoping for good stuff. I'm sure our publisher and all publishing houses are trying to figure this out. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if one of the big houses out there offers to buy up Charisma House. But like Bruce commented in a post recently, I hope that doesn't happen.