Book Trailer The Noble Train

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The State of the Book in 2014

You could argue it both ways. Go to the Kindle boards and you will see the new frontier of publishing. Writers taking their work and bypassing the publishing and putting it out there to sell on the kindle. The ebook certainly broke the dam of writers who would never see print. And there are writers who sell in the millions who have never signed a publishing contract and conversely they have become millionaires. They are the one percent of one percent.

For the rest of the self publishers it is a brutal slog and many sell few downloads of their book. But of course you could argue this beats obscurity. And for the traditionally published writers it is the year of reckoning. You have to compete on all fronts and with the advent of the ebook the free download has changed the field of play. People literally give way their book while traditional publishers sit on their prices like trolls at the gate. You cant blame them they actually have invested money in their books and they need to hold the line.

Profit has become a word only for the big sellers for these publishers. Print on Demand books have allowed them to compete with the price to sell market of ebooks but these also bring a stigma that keeps most POD books out of the bookstores so essential to selling now. It will be the year of the Independent this we know. Barnes and Noble is taking water so fast we might just see her slip beneath the waves in the first quarter. The Nook truly was the anchor thrown over the side with no real plan to compete with the Amazon behemoth.

And Amazon will rule its domain yet she was stymied when the independents didn't take her books. So we have gone full circle. Books are still stubbornly selling and independent bookstores are the future of book selling and are gaining strength while the ebook morphs into the interactive beast it is destined to be. Community will make or break the art of book selling for the independents. And what of the author in all of this?

Writers have greater opportunities to fail or thrive than ever before. If there is one consistent mantra it is this for the modern author; If you don't do it no one will. This is the unassailable truth of publishing. Never before have authors had to have thicker ankles than right now. It is a peasants work this selling of our wares but the truth is you have only one responsibility in the end and that is to your talent. And that has never changed and never will.

Full speed ahead.

Books by William Hazelgrove