The world of book publishing is changing. It used to be a writer would labor over their work for as long as it took for the manuscript to be perfect…or as close to perfect as it could be. That writer would then submit a clever query letter, to agents and publishers and then pray to the writer deities that someone, anyone would actually read the query before they send it to the abyss. After countless rejections, some lucky agent or publisher would decide that manuscript was worth a look and would request a sample. If they liked the sample they might, on a good day, request the full MS. If, after months and months (of the writer stressing and fretting), they still liked what they read, they would choose to represent the writer or publish the manuscript (after an infinite amount of rewrites.)
Well…those days seem to be over. The book industry, as we all know it, is dying. Taking the place of the long-in-the-tooth publishing paradigm is the new model of electronic publishing. Many (if not most) established writers despise this new model. Why? Because it encroaches on their turf. The old guard is seeing a new regime enter the fray having to jump through far less hoops to get published. Now anyone can write a “book” and then, without that book ever being picked and preened by a professional editor, can be published to Amazon or Barns And Nobel (and other avenues). The established writers do not like it because it breaks tradition…the writers haven’t gone through due diligence.
I get that. I appreciate that. But…being one of those new-regime writers who has three novels published electronically, I have to say that the new model does one very simple thing: It allows aspiring writers to get published! Let me put it another way…if I may.
I have paid full price for books that were not even worth cracking open (Dan Brown’s last book comes to mind.) I have also read books that were published directly to Amazon (For the Kindle, by writers without an agent or publisher) that were amazing. Some of those direct-to-Amazon books I have read I read for free and some I have paid anywhere from $ 0.99 to $9.99. On any given day I would rather pay $0.99 to $9.99 for a new writer who’s book might be average to great than full price for an established writer who’s book might be bad to average. Of course there are also those new writers who’s books are real stinkers…it’s a chance you take, but at a much lower average price it’s a chance that is much easier to take. Besides, as a writer myself, I am always glad to give a new writer a chance.
So the old guard has to give way, because the new paradigm is gaining ground and will not give up. The new media is electronic and ready for prime time. The argument that ereaders weren’t ready is dead. So get your Kindle or your Nook and download a new writer today!