Let's make a few assumptions...and guess the rest.

Let's make a few assumptions:

1. The publishing industry is radically shedding old habits and structuring itself in a different
set of new clothes.

2. Fiction as we know it, will not be produced by big-name publishing houses. Smaller 'specialty'
publishers are going to pick up the pieces and carry on.

3. Ebooks and other electronic media is going to eventually become equal to, or superior than,
the current print medium in relation to making a profit.

4. With the advent of POD printing, the need to have institutions like Ingram's
distributing books becomes obsolete. Printing on demands reduces the need for
storage space, and the cost of printing itself is reduced drastically.

Now comes the guessing part;

1. What happens to literary agencies?

2. How much stronger does Amazon and Ebay become in the publishing world?

3. With the potentiality of millions of writers flooding the internet with their work, will\
anyone be able to earn a living thru their writing?

4. And ultimately, does the print medium eventually succombs to the visual arts
medium of gaming and digital animation?

What do you think?

Views: 10

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Comment by B.R.Stateham on February 21, 2009 at 1:20pm
John

Hot tuna, buddy! I'm happy for you.
Comment by John McFetridge on February 21, 2009 at 1:15pm
I sgned a two-book deal with St. Martins. So I can't really complain about publishing too much.

And my editor at St. Martins is also great. My novel, Swap, will be out in early '10.
Comment by B.R.Stateham on February 21, 2009 at 12:58pm
So John, what do you plan to do for your next novel?
Comment by John McFetridge on February 21, 2009 at 12:55pm
Well, my editor at Harcourt was laid off and there are no plans to bring out my novel in paperback (the hardcover was released last July). So, they may be acquiring, but they're also letting go.

I have to say the folks at Harcourt were very good to me. But they were bought out by an Irish company that's very close to a venture capital company and the acsquisition was described to me as an educational software company taking over two textbook companies. As far as I know they still aren't sure what they're doing with their adult fiction division. Though, to be fair, adult fiction made up a very small amount of Harcourt's business.

I really wish they'd hire my old editor back - she was great.
Comment by Neil Nyren on February 21, 2009 at 12:31pm
Most of us are part of international publishing companies, so it's not like we're owned by some outside venture capitalists or something -- our own owners know publishing very well.
Comment by B.R.Stateham on February 21, 2009 at 12:22pm
Life is cyclical. And since business is a part of life, well. . . it's a closed loop as well. But there are new technologies coming along which will force the traditional publisher to change. At least marginally change.

But tell me, Neil, how does the staff of a major publishing house put up with big-time investors who really have no idea about the publishing industry and have invested only to make a buck or two?
Comment by Neil Nyren on February 21, 2009 at 12:18pm
This is pretty funny -- we're out of synch by a couple of minutes. Anyway, ever since I've been in the business -- and that's a long time -- there have been sky-is-falling articles in the press about publishing. The sky's still up there. Yes, there are a bunch of layoffs now and everybody's being very careful, and it's certainly not fun. But I've lived through such periods before, and I expect I'll live through them again.
Comment by Neil Nyren on February 21, 2009 at 12:10pm
B.R, yes, they're cutting where they feel they can save money. But a large number of the jobs have nothing to do with editorial, and where they are editorial, it has nothing to do with whether those editors do fiction or nonfiction. The Collins division at HarperCollins, for instance -- most of the books they published were nonfiction.
Comment by B.R.Stateham on February 21, 2009 at 12:07pm
Neil. I know your a big-time editor and all, so I will bow to your wisedom. True, the downturn in the economy has hit everyone. But it seems to me it has really slapped around the publishing industry, Slapped it around so hard that everyone is more than just jittery. They're down right paranoid.
Comment by Neil Nyren on February 21, 2009 at 12:03pm
B.R., a few divisions have combined in a couple of the big guys. Again, it has nothing to do with fiction or nonfiction, just watching the general p&l in an economic downturn -- which, as I'm sure you've noticed, has affected pretty much every business in the country!

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