Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue

08/13/2010

Who Needs Publishers?…Anyone?

Filed under: Digital publishing,publishing,Ray Connolly,self-publishing — gator1965 @ 4:15 pm

“For as long as anyone has been writing books, authors’ careers have rested on the judgments or whims of publishers. Would the novel that took so many months, or even years, to write be read, let alone chosen, by editors? Who could tell? Who knew what publishers were looking for?” … Excerpt from Who Needs Publishers?

Ray Connolly, English author, journalist, script-writer, editor-in-chief and marketing chief extraordinaire, wrote this fine article (from which the above excerpt came) in http://www.guardian.co.uk/ that backs up what I’ve been preaching on this blog for some time:

You won’t hear it said in many publishing houses these days, where those editors and managements who have survived the 10% cull in their numbers following the credit crunch now appear frozen in the headlights of the onrushing digital revolution. But from the point of view of authors, these are potentially exciting times.

Because, although advances have been slashed, and literary agents are wringing their hands at the difficulties in finding publishers for all but the most guaranteed fiction, change is on the way. With Apple’s iPad recently joining Amazon’s Kindle and the Sony Reader as devices for reading downloaded books, power in publishing might just be shifting in the authors’ favour.

For as long as anyone has been writing books, authors’ careers have rested on the judgments or whims of publishers. Would the novel that took so many months, or even years, to write be read, let alone chosen, by editors? Who could tell? Who knew what publishers were looking for?

This was bad enough when editorial departments had the authority to buy manuscripts themselves. But then came the endless rise of marketing departments, and soon novels were increasingly being selected according to which genre they fitted.

That situation largely continues, but with the news that Amazon now sells almost twice as many digital books as hardbacks in the US, it’s clear that publishing is changing. And if publishers can sell their books online, why can’t writers?

Actually, they can. It isn’t difficult. Anyone who is computer savvy can become a publisher these days. I know, because I’ve just become one.

I’m now Ray Connolly, writer, editor-in-chief and head of marketing of Plumray Books, and any one of the 2 billion computer-owning people in the world who wants to read my new novel, The Sandman, can do so at the click of a mouse. It’s being serialised chapter by chapter on my website where, over the next 10 weeks, it will build like a part-work. In the words of a friend, I’m “doing a Dickens”.

What’s more, it’s free – although should any readers want to find out how the The Sandman ends before October, and hopefully quite a few will, they can download the entire book for less than the cost of a paperback. After that it will go on to Amazon.

Read more http://alturl.com/g5eev

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