I'm grinding my way through the 40's in my novel trying to create very high stress action scenes with both tension and....(I can't think of the other word) but I usually scan the social media world first before I get to writing. Today I happened upon an article and video of the Harper CEO Brian Murray talking about a number of things, including libraries and how they matter to Harper. He makes some really good points and expresses, what I think, are some great perspectives on book sales. Below the article you'll see a couple of comments that will make you wonder, though both contributors make good points.
DBW article with Harper CEO
The landscape of publishing may be changing in terms of delivery methods in the rapidly changing digital frontier, but like Murray says, it's still ultimately about getting books in peoples hands, whether that be via ereaders or whatever. I found it interesting when he expressed his thoughts on the publisher view(Harper) of authors and also, the struggle to find the most commercially viable books. I have a friend, a major author who is on Harper and I would die to be one of their authors, as would most writers of fiction.
I hear and see a lot of stuff written about the new world of self publishing and all that, but for me, if I could get a deal with a major pub house I would jump on it in a heart beat. At the end of the day, for a writer, it's about a lot more than just writing and self editing and trying to self pub and promote in the individual issue sense. I'm tech savvy too but that doesn't mean I want to spend a huge amount of time doing and learning what it takes to be a self promo pro, as an author. It's just too much. This is why you see major indie authors signing with major publishers. Read Amanda Hocking's post about why she did it, Joe Konrath too. Many writers start down that road and eventually realize that the self promotion part is the tough one, if nothing else but from a time standpoint. Not to mention cover art, editing on several levels, and formatting, and finding a good print co. if you want a hard copy version too, which I do.
This isn't to say that it can't be done. I see authors who have great book review sites and blogs with "how-to" instructions everywhere. Some even have books doing well on the digital charts. It can be done if you have enough tech savvy and/or money to have a good promo co. do it for you, and there are some good ones out there. But for the author/self promo types, behind the scenes, I know they struggle with the one element a writer treasures but has only so much control over and that's - TIME.
And believe me when I tell you, having a large blog or social media following is not a guarantee of anything.
Take a look at this article and play the interview video. No modern author, in his or her right mind, would or should ever write off big publishing, no matter how defiant you are about them. They are out to sell books. They have the staff, the knowledge and money to do it and they WILL figure out how to ride the tiger into the future. I personally don't think the major houses are going anywhere.
True, the playing field, in some ways, is more level and that's great. I love the idea of being able to get my stuff in front of people with enough hard work and tech smarts, but if I had my way, I would recluse myself and write all day, every day and leave the rest of it to the pros. It may not work out that way, but I'm going to give it a good try and take my first novel effort as far as I can and hope it gets someone's attention.
Eventually I hope to be able to pay my electric bill too.
...you know where to find me.........