Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The New Reality

Blechta at the helm, surveying the horizon.

We haven't discussed the state of the publishing industry in a while, and being authors, it's something that we should keep close watch on at all times. Those who can stay ahead of the wave -- or at least try to ride on it -- will do well. Don't notice that fast approaching wall of water at your own peril!

So, to start off this discussion, you will need to read the following article. It comes from New York, the epicenter of the publishing world and it bears careful scrutiny!

Where does all this doom and gloom reporting leave us poor authors? In many ways, not in a good place. Most of us are going to be told what to do by our publishers, in fact, that's the way many of us prefer to work -- until the publisher tells you to get lost, or worse yet, goes belly up.

But the reality is this (as I've said in this blog before): the publishing industry is going to be shaken up like never before. In fact, the process has already begun. Know what's happened in the music business? Our industry is going to go through the same thing. And the ride could well be even rougher.

What can we do? Well, if I really knew, I would stop where I am in my current novel, forget the trip to Paris, and get out on the lecture/TV circuit, starting a new career as Rick Blechta, Publishing Guru. Or how about this? The Publishing Futurist?

Alas, I don't have that knowledge, so I'll keep writing and keep travelling (poor baby).

But I'm not going to stop thinking and reading. I don't know where the wave is, but I can hear the sound of rushing water -- and I'm damn well going to keep my eyes open.

More anon...


Rick Blechta said...

Okay fellow author-types, the following Youtube clip was sent to me. After reading the article in my blog entry, you probably need to see it.

Trust me. com/watch? v=oS1NOXWVWgo

Debby (Deborah Turrell) Atkinson said...

Rick, I can't open that link. Could you email it to me? I'd love to see it.

Rick Blechta said...

Sorry 'bout that! It worked for me, but in looking it over, it seems to have some odd spaces that it shouldn't (the web doesn't like wide open spaces). Here it is again -- and I've checked it twice. If for some reason it doesn't loud, just search for "Dylan Moran Rejection". That should do it! ,

Sean Chercover said...

I love that video. Here's another amusing one:

Book Launch 2.0

The New York Magazine article is sobering, and important. I just got back late tonight from NYC and EVERYBODY is buzzing about that article.

I agree with you, Rick, we may not be able to see the future, but we stick our heads in the sand at our peril.

I suspect that the HarperStudio model is an important piece of the puzzle (and I'm not saying that because HarperCollins is my publisher, I swear). Higher profit-sharing for authors with lower advances is probably the future. And that's not necessarily a bad thing.

The Hollywood blockbuster mentality scares me, but among the "big" houses, it is the law of the land, for the time-being.

The one thing that is indisputable is: the Depression-Era business model is broken beyond repair.

And the only thing we know for sure about the future is ... it's coming.

Fasten your seat-belts...

Rick Blechta said...

Thanks for bringing some more perspective to the discussion of the article, Sean. It certainly caught my attention and I wasn't thinking, "Oh my God!" at the time, either. It was more something like, "Hmmm..." So I thought I'd share it here.