Every writer has an opinion on it. Some speak from experience, some are simply speculating, but writers always have something to say. That’s why we write. No matter where you turn these days, the blogosphere is full of opinions on the future of the publishing world and what it means for writers.
When I think of the world of publishing these days, and its effect on writers, I get a visual of Dorothy and Toto lifted up by that tornado, head over heels, disoriented and filled with disbelief. When they finally touch down, they’re no longer in Kansas. And neither are we! What we’re facing is a whole new adventure in publishing options, and a whole lot more responsibility for our publishing outcomes. This thrills some writers who embrace the new choices, and terrifies others. The refrain from some of the old school is “just leave it the way it was”. Too late. We’re not in Kansas, remember?
Right now the industry is in the process of reinventing itself. Writers are in the process of finding their niche and learning all about shameless self-promotion. The picture of the solitary writer, perched in the attic in front of a dusty old Underwood is forever gone. You’re more likely to see today’s writer at a critique group, a book club, working on her blog, networking with other writers online and in person, and getting her name “out there”. This is true for writers, whether they are published in the traditional model or indie (self) published. If you want to be published by a traditional publishing house, you still need to show your prospective agent that you have a platform, or are at least working on one. If you’re going indie, it’s crucial!
The face of publishing is unfolding and changing before our eyes. None of us knows for sure what publishing will look like one year or ten years from now. I think the best thing we can do is educate ourselves so we can make informed choices, because today more than ever, there are many of them we’ll have to make.