The Industry Keeps On Changing, And Fast

book

I came across an article on the changing face of publishing and reading a few weeks ago, it was not really ‘new’ but another assessment of how the ‘reading-writing-publishing’ industry is changing rapidly as we speak.

It all started with the wave of self-publishing, which is only starting to get the respect it deserves now. Along with the growing acceptance of self and indie publishing comes a wave of new ideas, including some breakthrough ideas.

Authors are now experimenting not only with e-books and kindle promotions but using crowdfunding, subscription services, various methods of taking their works to market such as serializing. And there has been a lot of cases of success. Which makes me, as an author, very excited. It is a good time to be an author, it is a good time to try different things that were never possible before. And, if you are an avid reader, there has not been a better time than this.

Here’s a snippet of the article from chicagotribune.com

In November, a pair of technology journalists issued the latest in what seems to be a constant stream of announcements proclaiming the start of a book publishing revolution. First, co-authors Jason Hiner and Lyndsey Gilpin said they would crowdfund their project, asking individuals to donate toward a $10,000 goal in exchange for free tote bags, book copies and, for $500, a chance to chat with the authors by phone.

Next, the TechRepublic writers said, they would release individual chapters of “Follow the Geeks” serially, a la Charles Dickens. Finally, they would let reader comments on those chapters inform the final print/e-book/audiobook product.

Rest of the article at chicagotribune.com

One thing is clear, publishing will never be the same again. It is fun to think that I am part of the force that is disrupting an industry and transforming it. But there are challenges. The barrier to entry that were the gatekeepers have now almost become irrelevant, but new barriers have taken their place. And that is to be expected in any market.

But the problem of how readers can find their way in Everybody-Is-an-Author Land remains. “We’ve lowered the bar for people to enter the category,” Raccah says, leaving readers to sort through the mess. Reader reviews, which some recommend as a path through this landscape, failed to do the trick for Raccah. She experimented on their reliability with her favorite genre, science fiction, selecting only books with four-star reviews on Kindle Unlimited, Amazon’s book subscription service. “I thought, I’ll read those. It’ll be great,” she says. “They were all … unreadable. I couldn’t get through 20 pages. There are still really good authors and books that have self-published, but how to find them? That’s still a problem.”

•••

Eric Stromberg, who co-founded the all-you-can-read subscription book service Oyster two years ago, thinks he has the answer: the company’s recommendation software.

Rest of the article at chicagotribune.com

If that is the solution or not, remains to be seen. Subscription services, however, is a brand new disruptor in the nascent e-book market. Maybe it will become a great tool for authors, but it is already an awesome gift for readers. Think about it, for almost nothing, a reader gets to choose from an unlimited number of books–an experience I could not have imagined ten years ago. But the challenge for these subscription services is whether they can bring enough good books to the table for a subscriber.

In 2008, when I bought my first kindle, I was not sure which way it would go–whether it would thrive or remain just a passing fad. It went on to become a tsunami of disruption. A lot of people I know still question the future of e-readers, and I too feel that a book well loved needs to be bought in print version, but the e-readers are still going strong.

The future? It’s hard to predict. One thing is for sure–in the end, the readers will have expressed their choice and they will be the biggest drivers of the ‘book’ industry.

 

S.G. Basu is an aspiring potentate of a galaxy or two. She plots and plans with wondrous machines, cybernetic robots, time travelers and telekinetic adventurers, some of whom escape into the pages of her books. Once upon a previous life on planet Earth, S.G. Basu trained to be an engineer, and her interest in science and her love of engineering shows up time and again in her books.

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Posted in industry news, publishing news

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