Tag archive: publishing
When I decided to form the Toronto Indie Publishing Meetup group, I was warned (by Meetup) to expect only two or three people to attend the inaugural meeting. I figured that would be okay, so I boldly took Meetup’s suggestion to have a get together within the month, and I booked the first event smack in the middle of summer. So what if our Meetup consisted of just two or three die-hard fans of indie publishing having a beer?
The technophobia, true and angry anti-technology, the complete fear of new things, shocked me at Word on the Street in 2011. As part of my role as Regional Vice-President of the Crime Writers of Canada, I took a turn running our booth, and for fun, I put two e-readers on display so that people could do a side-by-side comparison.
It’s made the viral rounds, been shared on Facebook and Twitter, yet Kevin Spacey’s observations during his keynote address at the Edinburgh Television Festival still fill me with awe. In a nut shell:
I’ve watched with fascination over the last four years as self-publishing changes. In the early days (2010), when many authors still feared self-publishing, selling novels on Amazon was much easier. My short stories used to go at the rate of one or two a day. Now, even getting people to download your free novel by the thousands (which also used to be easy) is a challenge because the market is so crowded.
The great thing about e-publishing is that readers can actually influence writers in a way that simply was not possible in the traditional publishing model. Didn’t like a chapter? Write the author to tell him/her, and they can actually change it and seamlessly update the work on Amazon or Smashwords. I’m not suggesting that writing should become a collaborative effort, but if hundreds of people e-mailed me to say they loved my novel except for one non-essential chapter, I’d toss it.
I never attend a con without learning something new about the publishing industry, or at least about trends in publishing, and SFcontario4, which was held in Toronto this weekend at the Ramada Plaza Hotel, was full of surprises.
There have always been vultures in the publishing world. Phoney agents charging “reading fees” to consider your novel for representation are a classic example. One of these agents actually listed a skill on his website as “tug boat captain.” This agent could never have sold anyone’s novel to a legitimate publisher, but I bet after collecting his reading fee, he’d have been happy to recommend unsuspecting authors to equally unqualified editors and book doctors.
Authors are snobs. It’s about numbers and status. It’s about competition. There are so many of us at so many different points in our careers, which could totally tank on one poor-selling novel, and there are even thousands more people who feel they, “have a book in them.”