All you have to do is read the "Rights News and Offerings" section in the Publishers Marketplace to understand that the publishing world is changing. Writers are asking lots of questions to their agents, publishers, lawyers, and managers. Should I continue with my publisher or self-publish? How does my literary agent fit in today's world? What is my agent doing for his or her commission? Now that the big publishing conglomerates have bought some of the self-publishing imprints, what does it mean for me? Isn't there a conflict of interest? What price do I pay for taking an advance from my publisher? What are the pitfalls? Why should my publisher receive eighty percent of the cut?
On the upside, it is an exciting time with the changing distribution platforms for literary works. It is easier than ever for a writer to get his work to the marketplace. I am amazed by the success of Fifty Shades of Grey, and even more amazed by how it was initially marketed.
Sabrina Ricci, in her January 16, 2013, Huffington Post article, "Why Traditional Published Authors Are Going Indie," who interviewed six authors wrote, "John Harnish said he thinks that downsizing has hurt the traditional publishing industry."
“'Traditional houses have gotten sloppy,' he said, commenting that he saw a lot of typos in a Tom Clancy novel he recently read. 'There are a lot of really good editors, downsized out of a job, looking for freelance work. They’re affordable [for indie publishers].'”
"Kleisny also said she prefers to find her own editors. 'I think that because the times are changing, the better people in the bigger companies leave the companies, and make their own [way].'”
"Marketing was another major reason these six authors decided to go the indie route."
"Kleisny said she was not happy she had to do a lot of her own marketing to promote the books published by traditional publishing houses."
“'Why do they get 80 percent of the income of my book if I have to do it all by myself anyhow?' she said. 'I’m just a number for them […] Just one author. One book. So why do too much for just this one book? But for me, it’s my book. It’s my nights I have spent for this book. And I believe it’s good. I know it’s good.'”
"Freethy said that when she was with a big publisher, her books did not see as much marketing efforts."
“'As an independent publisher, I’m focusing on my books all the time, and I’m not done after three weeks or one month,' she said. 'The book hasn’t gone off the shelf, because it’s digital. So I can continue my marketing efforts over the course of a year or two years.'”
The article goes on to describe the keys to successful self-publishing and some of the benefits of traditional publishing. I believe it's an article well worth reading.
I am sure this year will offer unpredictable opportunities, trends, and riveting bombshells.
Last year was a special year with over fifty percent of our writers procuring publishing deals, and we look forward to greater successes for our writers this year. To help our authors, we are strengthening our relationships with publishing houses, studios, and literary agencies.
We at MES are keenly aware of the treacherous landscape confronting today's writers. If you desire our input, we would be diligent in our efforts to help you assess your market value, representation, management, and the right distribution platforms for your books. We also have the ability to edit, proofread, and format your novel, plus build and market your book's website.
Alan BrownSenior Editor