Monday, January 27, 2014

Agency Lessons: the great publishing debate

I follow a lot of industry blogs. Partly because it's a good idea for me to know what folks in the know are talking about. Partly because I find the business side of books to be fascinating. However, this past week my blog feed was filled up with indie/legacy debate posts and this was not fascinating.

It seems like the bigger someone is, on one side or the other, the louder and more abrasive they feel the need to be. Big name indie authors basically calling out traditional publishers as author hating, money grabbing brain washers. Publishing execs calling indie authors cobbled together, exaggerating, butt hurt hacks. Seriously, it made my head hurt.

Everyone is arguing over how much ebooks are growing and how much of the market do indies really control and will B&N die a slow painful death in 2014.

And here's the honest truth. No one knows. Any of it. There is no collaborative database of all the sales numbers that we can look at to say with any kind of reasonable certainty what book sales are really doing. We have no idea what impact self-publishing is having on the traditional market. And B&N will sink or swim, definitely one of those two.

As a writer, it's easy to get all tied up in the hype coming from everywhere. But here's all you really need to know. Readers are going to read. Book lovers are going to find the books that make them happy, wherever they come from or however they are made. They will devour these books, share them with other readers, and then go back for more.

So try not to get too tied up in the doom and gloom vitriol that is being spouted from all over. Make decisions on how to publish your work based on what you need and want as a writer and let the readers read. Now, let's all huddle together in a giant hug and chant "books are awesome" until everyone feels better. Sound good?

Today, in defiance of the major publishing debate raging all over the internets, we will celebrate books. Show a little love in the comments for your favorite book and tell me why you love reading. 


  1. I am currently reading Insurgent by Veronica Roth. It is an amazing series. I love reading because it sparks my imagination. I love fantasy, sci fi, paranormal and even Romance and Stephen King on occasion (though not usually I can suspend my disbelief while reading and just enjoy everything the book has to offer. If I had a choice between a book or TV, the book wins every time.

  2. I've loved reading since I was taught to read when I was three. My brother was in the hospital, and I was left in the waiting room with my grandma for days on end. The books she brought were so amazing. I vividly remember Dr. Seuss and how much I enjoyed the rhyming words. Books transport the reader to another world. I'd be bored out of my mind in a world without them. A book I read recently that really caught my attention was Godspeed by February Grace. The world she created was so strange and the characters so interesting. Yea for books and for everyone involved in the process, be they writer, agent, or publisher!

  3. I've just finished Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and I'm currently reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, Audition by Barbara Walters, The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien, and re-reading Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts (my all time favorite book). Reading taught me we can create anything we can think of out of words. The more I read -- fiction or non -- the freer my mind to imagine things I've never imagined, to create worlds that have never existed, to delve deeper into myself and expand further out into the Universe. How could anyone not love that? ~~ S.T. Ranscht

  4. I still remember the first time I read a book on my own. It was Green Eggs and Ham, and from that moment I loved books. I read them constantly and even started writing stories in elementary school. Today, my favorite books include Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, Percy Jackson and the Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan, Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles, and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, just to name a few.

    You're right, Sarah. Readers will read good books, regardless of how they were published.

  5. I just finished reading a short story collection called Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang. Although its focus is on science fiction, it also delves into deep emotion and philosophical questions. This is a book that shows me why I enjoy reading so much; I love picking things off a shelf and exploring new authors and different worlds.


Share the love, man...