Welcome to the Historical Fiction Online forums: a friendly place to discuss, review and discover historical fiction.
If this is your first visit, please be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above.
You will have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.
To start viewing posts, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Books and the publishing industry

annis
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 4585
Joined: August 2008

Books and the publishing industry

Post by annis » Sun February 1st, 2009, 2:07 am

I came across this interesting Time article on the subject of books, publishing and the publishing industry. Are we in the middle of a publishing revolution?
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/artic ... -1,00.html

User avatar
cw gortner
Bibliophile
Posts: 1288
Joined: September 2008
Location: San Francisco,CA
Contact:

Post by cw gortner » Sun February 1st, 2009, 3:43 am

Very interesting! Thanks for posting. As one of those countless writers who got rejected a gazillion times before I independently published and then got auctioned to a large commercial house, it's great to see more writers succeeding via this venue.

Today, getting to the marketplace is a whole new playing field.
THE QUEEN'S VOW available on June 12, 2012!
THE TUDOR SECRET, Book I in the Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles
THE CONFESSIONS OF CATHERINE DE MEDICI
THE LAST QUEEN


www.cwgortner.com

User avatar
MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 3562
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Sun February 1st, 2009, 4:57 am

No surprises for me in that article. People forget that the publishing model as we know it is less than 60 years old. Why should we not expect it to change?

One of the ramifications not touched on was related situations like the slow demise of Publisher's Weekly, which laid off a portion of staff last week. Part of the prestige of being published was being reviewed by the professionals -- PW, Kirkus, et al. Not to mention the book sections of the local newspapers and magazines.

But now we have unpaid reviewers like many on this board, who simply do it for fun and for free. Instead of being trapped with a relative few opinions from people whose tastes we may not share, now we can go check out opinions online, and find the reviews by people whose tastes match ours. Zillions of them.

(Misfit and Telynor, don't you realize that you and your flying-fingered internet opiners are putting pompous paid professionals out of a job?)
Now the gates are down, and the great unwashed are surging in and choosing only the menu items that please them.

User avatar
LoveHistory
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 3751
Joined: September 2008
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Contact:

Post by LoveHistory » Sun February 1st, 2009, 1:48 pm

This article gives me hope.

User avatar
Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 9581
Joined: August 2008
Location: Seattle, WA

Post by Misfit » Sun February 1st, 2009, 2:03 pm

[quote=""MLE""](Misfit and Telynor, don't you realize that you and your flying-fingered internet opiners are putting pompous paid professionals out of a job?)
Now the gates are down, and the great unwashed are surging in and choosing only the menu items that please them.[/quote]

LOL, I'm still trying to figure out who my 40 Amazon "fan voters" are, and that number's down from 80+ fans before they reconfigured their software :p :o

User avatar
Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 9581
Joined: August 2008
Location: Seattle, WA

Post by Misfit » Sun February 1st, 2009, 2:40 pm

OK, now that I've read the article.....

It appears that more books are going to come out on an e-format of some sort or another. What about those of us who still want a real book and/or can't afford a kindle? Honestly, I don't think I could handle reading a book on the computer screen, my eyes couldn't take it. Had enough trouble during Amazon's ABNA contest trying to read those short excerpts - an entire book :eek:

Then again we come to the problem of editing - I don't care what format a book comes in if it's overly laden with typos I'm not going to stick with it, good or bad.

So now I'm back to printed books. How does a self-published author get average joe readers like to me read his/her book? I've been burned once and I'll not try again without seeing real reviews by real reviewers (I can tell the difference now) and I'll not drop $18 + on a complete unknown. Is there a way to get copies to bloggers and libraries? I know I've put in purchase requests on self published books and the library has refused to purchase them, one reason given was that it had no "professional reviews".

User avatar
Leyland
Bibliophile
Posts: 1042
Joined: August 2008
Location: Travelers Rest SC

Post by Leyland » Sun February 1st, 2009, 3:18 pm

I suscribe to Time magazine and read this article with interest a couple days ago. No doubt that unstable economics and changing views favoring internet sources of literature versus traditional publishing houses are increasing the ability for a writer to get his or her work directly out to either the masses or to a niche market.

I'd like to be able to access an e-book retail website to purchase and download a novel written by a new, relatively unknown or a popular writer into Word and then to format the text into a book or column style of my preference, if not already preformatted, so that it resembles a traditional hard or paperback (but on 8x10 computer paper). The downloaded text could be locked so that no changes or copying and pasting would be allowed to the copyrighted work. I'd want to print it so I could carry and read a hard copy. I truly don't need a pretty artistic cover, especially when I only get headless women in HF anyway! ;)

The above scenario might cut out the publishing house and all the related expenses cited in the article, but I still prefer to read professionally edited work. Editors stay, publishers go. :)
We are the music makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams ~ Arthur O'Shaughnessy, Ode

User avatar
boswellbaxter
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 3066
Joined: August 2008
Location: North Carolina
Contact:

Post by boswellbaxter » Sun February 1st, 2009, 3:24 pm

One thing self-published authors ought to do is get Amazon to activate the "Search Inside" feature of their books. It's free, and it gives readers a chance to read some excerpts in order to get an idea of the writing. At the very least, they should make some excerpts available on their websites. It amazes me how many self-published authors don't do this--or don't even have websites to begin with.

Some bloggers will review self-published books; others flat-out refuse to. It's just a matter of the author querying the individual bloggers.

Google Ads is a fairly cheap way of bringing readers to a website, but there needs to be some content there to keep them reading once they get there.
Susan Higginbotham
Coming in October: The Woodvilles


http://www.susanhigginbotham.com/
http://www.susanhigginbotham.com/blog/

User avatar
Divia
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 4435
Joined: August 2008
Location: Always Cloudy, Central New York

Post by Divia » Sun February 1st, 2009, 4:31 pm

[quote=""boswellbaxter""]One thing self-published authors ought to do is get Amazon to activate the "Search Inside" feature of their books. It's free, and it gives readers a chance to read some excerpts in order to get an idea of the writing. At the very least, they should make some excerpts available on their websites. It amazes me how many self-published authors don't do this--or don't even have websites to begin with.

Some bloggers will review self-published books; others flat-out refuse to. It's just a matter of the author querying the individual bloggers.

Google Ads is a fairly cheap way of bringing readers to a website, but there needs to be some content there to keep them reading once they get there.[/quote]

Very interesting. I never thought of these things. That is something to keep in mind!

The article gives me hope as well.
News, views, and reviews on books and graphic novels for young adult.
http://yabookmarks.blogspot.com/

User avatar
Ariadne
Bibliophile
Posts: 1151
Joined: August 2008
Location: At the foothills of Mt. Level

Post by Ariadne » Sun February 1st, 2009, 4:58 pm

I've read a number of historical novels recently that were previously self-published (or published by tiny indies) and which later got picked up by major houses. Some were excellent. Others had major problems with the writing and were, I suspect, mainly picked up because they dealt with a very popular/marketable subject. (I'm not including any members of this board are in the latter group!)

I haven't read any of these, but many of the Jane Austen sequels so prevalent now were previously self-published. The demand's there for them.

About the recent layoffs at Publishers Weekly and Library Journal ... the people let go were, for the most part, editors and feature writers who have knowledge not only about books in a single genre, but on the publishing industry as a whole. That's what's being lost. I read Sara Nelson's PW editorials regularly and never found them elitist; rather the opposite. I'm not quite sure how the three magazines (PW, LJ, SLJ) will be able to function with a single person overseeing all of them, and I find it depressing. Also, many paid print reviewers also have blogs. It's not a case of either/or... it just means fewer venues with which to get the word out about books.

Post Reply

Return to “Chat”