Recent Press Releases.
We've all been wondering about the future of publishing - how it is going to work out with eReaders, eBooks, self-publishing, small publishers. And then it occurred to me that we were seeing the root of where publishing is going to go...
Those press releases announced a new small publisher that was selling chapbooks from both well-known and up-and-coming authors; two authors who had decided to collaborate, and no doubt discussed their plan via social media of some kind; and a new eBook-only company who would donate profits made to charity. New authors are being given more of a chance through the fresh initiatives of companies such as Morrigan Books, with their eBook-only branch.
This is both so promising, but also scary! For someone like me, who is yet to embrace the eReader - am I being left behind? Are the traditional publishers who are failing to embrace both social media and eBooks already losing a race that seemed as though it had barely started? There are reports that eBook sales are up MASSIVELY on the same period from last year. NetGalley is a whole new principle on receiving ARCs that has been on the rise in a big way.
The new environment allows so much freedom - it seems as though anyone (with the right contacts and editorial experience) can begin a publishing company or a literary agency. A website, some contracts drawn up and off they go... Is it as simple as this? Are we destined to see many endeavours fail because we aren't quite accustomed to the new way of working?
I have already ordered that chapbook with the click of a Paypal button. If the charity eBook comes in a format I can use, I will no doubt buy that too. I am being access to work that would, previously, have either remained unpublished or found its way into one of the few anthologies that made the rounds. Some of the novellas/novels I'll be able to read will be edited by those with little traditional experience.
We open ourselves to the risk of diminishing returns in terms of quality. We will no doubt see god-awful self-published tomes that would never had seen the light of day without the Amazon Kindle store. Some of us traditionalists may be forced to embrace eReading technology before we ever really wished to in order to stay caught up with new goings-on.
And yet.... I feel positive. The future of publishing looks bright, albeit very, very different.
What do you think?