The Author – An Anachronism?

A web friend of mine recently published her first book – an eBook.  She is thrilled.  I would be, too.  She also has a very fun blog that interviews her characters.  This is not only clever, but shows she is aware of one of the most current methods of marketing her book.

One of the recent articles on Digital Book World is by Don Linn, former owner/CEO of Consortium Book Sales & Distribution, entitled, “Caught in the Middle, Publishing’s Other Customers.”

The cost of hardcover books is going down.  Sounds like a good deal, doesn’t it.  It is for the reader, which I suspect applies to most of us.  He notes that authors like Stephen King will not suffer.  They and those like them can self-publish and will still sell the same number of books they always have.  Even us newbies may do all right, as long as we do not seek to make a living from our writing.  I add, as long as we are willing and able to do all of our own marketing, delivery, follow-up etc., etc.

What about “those who fall between these two groups. They are the people who write for a living and who bring us the workhorse books in their categories (from literary fiction to genre fiction to all manner of non-fiction). Their advances have historically been relatively low and their sales relatively modest. They write for major publishers and independents. They write books that backlist and, in a small but very important number, they write really important books that either break out commercially, or say something significant that might not otherwise get said.”

Yet another consideration in this age of transitions.  Will the future look back on us and declare we produced nothing new, nothing of worth?  For the lack of funds, art suffered?  No more authors, only people who “write on the side.”

You may want to check out his article.  More food for thought.

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4 thoughts on “The Author – An Anachronism?

  1. I don’t think the artists of the future will look back and say we produced nothing of worth. Writers, playwrights, and artists are producing plenty of relevant art right now in Atlanta. Human beings have an unquenchable need for self expression. Now we have an opportunity to document a watershed moment in time. And I think the world needs writers more than ever to tell the stories unfolding all around us. In real-time. We are in the midst of societal change of the magnitude of the Great Depression and the 1960’s Civil Rights Era. I’ve been a journalist and writer for 25 years, and I’m clinging to hope even though magazines, newspapers, and the publishing industry are in chaos. Something WILL shake out of this chaos in the end. Remember, the past is prelude. Shakespeare got so much right!
    Valerie Gregg, fiction writer, science writer
    http://www.valgregg.wordpress.com
    I would love to maintain a link on my blog to your blog. It’s a really nice one!

    • I, too, tend to see the glass as half full rather than half empty.

      The question is, if publishers can no longer afford to support the author who has something important to say, that person who lives by his or her writing alone, who will? Even now, they fear to put their resources behind a manuscript they feel will not give them a return similar to one by Stephanie Meier (God forbid).

      Yes, artists produce, cannot help but do so. But will the public support them?

  2. I’m hanging on to Shakespeare, here. (Is that a bad sign?)
    “Past is prelude.”

    Humanity has always yearned for art, creativity, and self expression. That will not stop because the top 15 to 20% of Americans live inside a computerized box. Unfortunately that part of our society also owns most of our economy.

    I have to have faith that we won’t end up in a Mad Maxx world that is a literal and cultural wasteland. That would surely be a living hell on earth. (I just couldn’t face that. Maybe I should create my own fantasy world inside a story — like our human ancestors have been doing since the dawn of time!) Oh God, I’m getting shrill and hysterical.

    • I read no hysteria, only conviction. I have been creating fantasy worlds all my life. Hopefully, someone will enjoy reading about some of them.

      My motto is: “Head/mind in the open sky (or stars) and feet on solid ground.

      “Past is prelude” is not only Shakespeare, but history. I will keep an eye on this chapter to see how it all pans out.

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