I actually stumbled across this blog post, “Book Publishing ‘Then’ and ‘Now'” by Pam Perry, outside of class. I was looking for information on self-publishing, and despite the website’s painfully pink layout, I found that it actually had some interesting things to say.
The blog discusses the new, Web 2.0-based world of self-publishing. It is now easier than ever for undiscovered authors to get their voices out there. Prior to these new publishing tools, there was a lot of legwork and potentially little profit involved in book publishing as a new author. Nowadays, however, the process is vastly different, and Perry covers some of the more specific differences within her blog.
“Old School: Traditional hard and soft-cover books
New School: Digital books, ebooks, Kindles, iPad and other wireless reading devices are on the way
Old School: Printing, stamping and mailing newsletters to mailing list accumulated over the years
New School: Sending out eNewsletters & continual email marketing campaigns using autoresponders and broadcast emails.
Old school: TV interviews
New School: Creating book trailers, viral videos and streaming LIVE online
Old School: Getting radio, TV, Newspaper and magazine reviews
New School: Creating thousands of followers, friends and fans online who interact with you and are connected with you through your whole career”
So clearly, the world of publishing has changed quite a bit since the “Old School” ways. She even includes a funny video of an author failing to adjust to the “New School” ways.
So what does this mean for us? It may seem daunting at first- like perhaps there will be even more competition now, or maybe it will be even harder to become noticed. In my opinion, however, we as writers have a better chance now than ever. Because so much of the “New School” processes are things we can do ourselves or with little help, our chances have increased exponentially. The only thing that most of these steps require is a bit of legwork and a lot of motivation. There is practically nothing from stopping one of us from becoming the next big author. Perry even specifically mentions one author, William P. Young, whose novel The Shack was originally self-published and has sold over seven million copies world wide, along with spending seventy weeks at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.
So if that guy can do it, why not one of us?