Friday, November 30, 2012

The Future of Publishing


This morning I read a post written by Mark Coker, the founder of Smashwords, about Amazon trying to monopolize self-publishing by offering “indie” authors certain perks if they put their books solely on Amazon’s site, a move that threatens other self-publishing sites—Amazon means Satan’s bidding in Greenlandic Norse, so this isn’t surprising (It doesn’t mean Satan’s bidding in Greenlandic Norse. I just made that up.) 

But that’s not why I’m whipping up this blog post. Mark Coker went on to say, “Amazon is smart to realize that indie authors are the future of publishing.” When I read that line I kind of wanted to throw my iPhone against the wall. My prideful side thought, “Don’t tell me I’m not part of the future of publishing, Mark Coker, because I have an agent and am hoping to sell to a traditional publisher.” I worked my butt off to get an agent, and now I’m working my butt off polishing my manuscript in hopes that a publisher will want to buy it. Then if they do buy it, I’ll work my butt off with an editor making even more changes, so the public will get a book that is the best it can possibly be. I refuse to believe that process is inconsequential. Consumers want a good product. 

I will admit publishing is changing, and if you don’t think it is, you’re in denial, but I don’t believe self-publishing, as it is now, is the way of the future. Authors have had their work stolen and put on Amazon under someone else’s name. People are paying to have fake reviews to increase their ranking to sell more novels. There are books being self-published like WET GODDESS, a story of a man who had a sexual love affair with a dolphin, and novels that read like they were written by a fifth grader. WET GODDESS is not the future of publishing. It isn’t. And if it is, then there is no hope for the human race. Because we will all be half-human and half-dolphin. I just hope we have hair. And I’m not too excited about having a blow hole either. 

Now, I’m not trying to say there isn’t good self-published stuff out there. There are some talented writers who self-publish. Cora Carmack wrote a great book called LOSING IT, self-published, and now has a significant three book deal. (You should buy it.) What I am trying to say is I don’t know the future of publishing. No one does. And I don’t think we are close to the answer. Traditional publishing is changing, and self-publishing is growing. That doesn’t mean traditional publishing is dead, and self-publishing is the way of the future. So let’s stop pretending we have the answer. But it isn’t WET GODDESS. That I do know. 

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