Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Well, we made it! Or did we?

by Rick Blechta

Late yesterday afternoon at 4:52 EST, the page view counter on Type M for Murder clicked past 500,000. Champagne corks were popped, pate served on little crackers and we all celebrated in our own ways. I did it by going out and playing some hot jazz with the Advocats Big Band. But that’s another story...

Time to get on with it here at The Olde Blog. No use resting on our laurels.

As we begin work on our second half million, I’ve been in an introspective mood, having been in this game for a whole lot of years.

Things have changed — mostly for the worst. Anybody can put out a book of any kind and not have to shell out a lot of money to do it. Many want to be published in the worst way, and they often succeed. Traditional publishing is floundering, self-publishing is way up. No one knows what the outcome will be for e-books since the sales of them have begun dropping.

The big (old) news is this: everyone is still trying to find a way to make a buck in the publishing biz, regardless of how it’s done. (Some things never change.) As always, at the bottom of the pile are the creators of books. Without us, there is no product. Problem is, above us, sharks are circling thicker than ever. If you go traditional, you usually get very tiny advances (if any), which sort of defeats the purpose of advances (to allow a writer to be able to afford to write the contracted piece). If you want to self-publish but appear traditional you can make use of the services of many vanity presses. Trouble is, you’ll get nickeled and dimed to death. I’ve posted about authors who are paying to do book signings at festivals. That’s nuts.

But for everyone, regardless of how your work comes out, there is a common problem: with more books than ever being released every year, how do you get any sort of notice at all?

So, I would like to pose a question to all you Type M readers, and I’d really appreciate getting some answers on this:

In your opinion, what is the biggest single obstacle to an author’s success in the publishing world of 2015?

I surmise there’s not just a single answer. But I think a splendid discussion could be kicked off on this, and maybe even some solutions found.

Will you help out?


Frankie Y. Bailey said...

Tired writers? Both writing and marketing takes time and energy.

Rick Blechta said...

You're correct on that, Frankie. At one time, writers wrote and publishers took care of the rest (other than asking authors to do signings, interviews and such). Obviously, if you self-publish, you have to do everything, but even traditionally-published authors are now expected to take care of a lot of the marketing concerns.