Friday, April 8, 2011

Is it an Exciting Time to be a Writer or Just Plain Scary?


I subscribe to the Books & Such Literary Agency blog. Though I don't currently write in the genres they represent,  I plan to write Christian fiction for an older market at some point. And honestly, I just happened to really like the folks there and the great discussions that come about as a result of their posts.

At the beginning of March, agent Wendy Lawton highlighted five broken things about the publishing industry.  She vented her concerns, provided advice on what can be done, and also asked for feedback from their readers. Somehow, I didn't manage to end up depressed over the whole thing. I'm thinking it's because I'm too darn stubborn to give up, but also because I feel all the changes in the publishing industry make it an exciting time to be a writer.

Facebook and Twitter, in addition to other forms of social media, have made it easier for authors to reach worldwide audiences. Blogging has opened up another world for aspiring authors to express their creativity and network with people in the industry. Self-publishing, though it can have its drawbacks, allows writers who write a book for a very focused market an avenue to see their work published. Technology has made  books available in electronic formats and CD. In addition, the Internet has given us greater access to publishers and agents.

I can't imagine trying to be a new author 100 years ago. Can you? You couldn't even perform research easily back then.

It seems, however, that publishers are taking fewer chances in this tough economy.  Marketing is now performed mostly by the author, and advances ain't what they used to be--when there are any. The closing of many Borders stores can also make you wonder if any of the changes in the publishing are going to be good.

During the month of April, Lawton decided to share some of the good news in publishing. Her posts start off on Monday at http://www.booksandsuch.biz/blog/good-news-for-a-change/ and then go through the week. I certainly enjoyed reading about all the good stuff going on right now and what she sees for the future.

How about you? Do you think it's an exciting time to be an author or is it just plain scary? Do you believe things are getting better or are they going to continue the downhill slide?

2 comments:

V.R. Leavitt said...

I think it's a little bit of both! Every industry needs adjusting every now and then. It'll be interesting to see what happens in the next few years.

Cheryl said...

Thanks for stopping by Vanessa. I don't think it's any scarier than it was in the past, but I do think it's way more exciting to be a writer now than it used to be.