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-   -   Fellow writers; your attention please. (http://forums.writersbeat.com/showthread.php?t=16578)

Gaines 02-25-2009 06:29 AM

Fellow writers; your attention please.
 
I just read a one page article online from the San Francisco Chronicle.

It is titled; Book PUblishers R.I.P. (google it to read it-it's only one page long)

It was printed this month on the 24th and it gives some eye opening info on the state of publishing houses in these hard economic times. Also has a suggestion or two of what authors need to do to get in print and promo their work.

Honestly it is worth the read. Just thought someone might be interested.

Much on these while you read it. :cookie3::cookie3::cookie3: "See the following post by zizban for the click on link"

zizban 02-25-2009 06:50 AM

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...ales022409.DTL

Added link.

Good article.

Devon 02-25-2009 07:10 AM

Great article, Gaines. Thank you for pointing this out to us. :)

mattimeo 02-25-2009 09:01 AM

Thank you for sharing, Gaines

Winterbite 02-25-2009 03:43 PM

Encouraging. I...I...waaaa!

Oh well, at least I can use an English major to say, "Do you want fries with that?" in a very cultured manner :D

Devon 02-25-2009 05:02 PM

"Dost thou wantest fries, pray tell?"

Winterbite 02-25-2009 06:13 PM

Shakespearean fast food, eh? I can dig that.

"To deep-fry or not to deep-fry--that is the question! For whether it is better to suffer the knives and scalpels of the triple-bypass surgeons..."

Gaines 02-25-2009 09:00 PM

Alas, poor Mickey D. I knew him well.

SW 02-25-2009 10:49 PM

I was wondering what appeared in the Notice Board, titled like this. :D

Some interesting points.

Slick-Jimmy 02-26-2009 03:24 AM

Once more into the fryer, dear friends, or close up the store without our English chips!

(The French fries and English chips are at war, you know.)

Jimmy Out.

singphantom7 02-26-2009 10:26 AM

This was a great article. This is a fear of mine I have wedged in the darkest recesses of my mind as I'm trying to accomplish finishing my novel. But hey...who IS in it for the money? No one I know ( :

Thanks Gaines!

artemisvale 02-26-2009 12:34 PM

Although I am comfortably accustomed to reading the trusty paperback, I think the answer to the publishing houses woes are to do what the music industry has done and make books accessable online. E-books, as repugnant as they might be to some, are a way to ensure an authors work is available to all. Do any of you read E-books???

Winterbite 02-26-2009 12:39 PM

I've read only two, and I must say I don't like them. Staring at a computer screen for that long gives me a headache. Plus, I far prefer being able to hold the book I read and take it with me wherever I go than having it confined to the computer.

artemisvale 02-26-2009 12:48 PM

Downloading them to a PDA is a little more bearable, but alas you are right Winterbite, a digital version of a book is never the same as a proper one! I think people are becoming lazy and are just waiting for movie versions of books to be made so they don't have to use their imaginations.

Devon 02-26-2009 02:26 PM

Quote:

I think people are becoming lazy and are just waiting for movie versions of books to be made so they don't have to use their imaginations.
Oh, thank goodness someone finally voiced this. Lol. I completely agree. It's sad and lazy, and I want to smack everyone who won't open their minds to a decent story that requires a little thought. Meh.

ProfChambers 03-03-2009 11:43 PM

Sounds cool.
Thanks for the info!

Winterbite 03-04-2009 04:49 AM

So, Prof...you're a movie producer, eh?

Either that or "cool" has a new meaning that nobody bothered to smack me over the head with :D

We'll just have to wait until all the remakes that can be made are made, all the books are movies, and the screenwriters can't come up with any tenuously creative ideas. Then people will be begging for new books to turn into movies :D

Gaines 03-04-2009 05:49 AM

Winterbite you are probably right but I don't see that happening until after Rocky XXVII is made.

It's gonna be titled; The Rumble in the Rec Room. A young 83 year old ex Lithuanian prizefighter moves into room 114 at the old folks home and challenges 91 year old Rocky to a walker fight. Plausible.

:D

Lin 03-04-2009 06:36 AM

The current state of publishing (and to a greater extent print periodicals) casts us as stowaways trying to crash onto a sinking ship.

Bummer, huh?

There's good news. The small press sector is growing rapidly. You might not get rich, but you CAN get read.

Beyond that, there are alternatives. I'm exploring them and moving in those directions myself. I'd suggest any incipient writer take a look at reading matter more viable than books.

Mr.Gryn 03-04-2009 07:33 PM

That's scary, even though I doubt I will ever get published in my life this is bad for me as a reader. He said that new authors would have a hard time getting published and that would leave out a lot of talent. I have the same sort of fears for the music industry though there is a positive possibility: In the music industry cd sales have gone down because of file sharing. This does not bode well for the record labels but the good side is that the mainstream crap could die and bands would promote their own music. I see the future of music as the band providing their discographies free online but earning money in other ways. This could be the same for the publishing industry. New authors could self publish (not give away books for free ofcourse) and promote their books themselves and becoming a popular author would not be up to major publishers but how well the said author could promote his own book. The more popular this method becomes a lot more talent could be discovered so this could be exciting or devastating.

Gaines 03-04-2009 09:34 PM

[quote=Mr.Gryn; New authors could self publish (not give away books for free ofcourse) and promote their books themselves and becoming a popular author would not be up to major publishers but how well the said author could promote his own book. The more popular this method becomes a lot more talent could be discovered so this could be exciting or devastating.
**********************
I like the idea of that myself. At least the respective author that believes in their work would have avenues to test their work on without the interminable wait of a publishing house swamped with manuscripts and predicating choice as much on prior credentials as the work itself.

There should be some sort of happy medium for both to achieve their goals.
Books online, more self promotion and the ability for a new author to reach more readers could very well revive the industry as a whole.

Though a book is well received that is not to say it is well written but still it has its niche. Author and reader both benefit.
:)

Mike C 03-06-2009 05:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gaines (Post 172194)
Book PUblishers R.I.P.

I've been reading similar articles for about 25 years now. Books and publishers are still here, and will always be in one form or another.

Surplus staff may lose their jobs, and budgets for advances may get slashed, but the big players still do, and will continue to, dominate the market, no matter how the market changes; Random House currently publishes just over 8,000 books in electronic format and will expand their catalog by roughly 7,000 additional books. That doesn't mean they think that's where the future lies (e-books account for about 1% of overall book sales) but they're canny enough to see that they can sell their product by any means available, and the e-format means no packaging or distribution costs, and no returns.

Recession is a short-term thing, and to think it's anything else is short-sighted. The big guys will shed staff, but they won't go out of business; the small independents are the guys who will end up taking the bullet, which is a shame.

Mike C 03-06-2009 05:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr.Gryn (Post 174602)
(not give away books for free ofcourse)

Why not?

Assuming you have it in you to write a second novel, it could be the ideal marketing ploy. Like the loss-leaders in supermarkets.

Imagine that you could deliver a copy of your book free to every household in the US. That's about 125 million homes. Free. With a note in the back saying "If you liked this book, you can buy my next one for $10."

Assume only 25% of people read it, and of those, 25% of people liked it enough to buy a copy. That's nearly 8 million sales. If only one percent of people bought a copy, that's 1.25 million sales.

Never underestimate the power of a free sample.

Mr.Gryn 03-06-2009 06:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike C (Post 174851)
Why not?

Assuming you have it in you to write a second novel, it could be the ideal marketing ploy. Like the loss-leaders in supermarkets.

Imagine that you could deliver a copy of your book free to every household in the US. That's about 125 million homes. Free. With a note in the back saying "If you liked this book, you can buy my next one for $10."

Assume only 25% of people read it, and of those, 25% of people liked it enough to buy a copy. That's nearly 8 million sales. If only one percent of people bought a copy, that's 1.25 million sales.

Never underestimate the power of a free sample.

You're forgetting the cost to print out the free books and distribution costs and stuff.

Lin 03-06-2009 06:54 AM

So give away free eBooks

Mr.Gryn 03-06-2009 07:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lin (Post 174867)
So give away free eBooks

True, the problem is getting it recognized, but if you are enthusiastic enough you can find a way.

Lin 03-06-2009 07:29 AM

Not if you're not any good.

But if you want to flood books out there, electronic books is the way to do it.

tallisen 03-06-2009 09:51 AM

Do What you Love
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike C (Post 174849)
I've been reading similar articles for about 25 years now. Books and publishers are still here, and will always be in one form or another.

Surplus staff may lose their jobs, and budgets for advances may get slashed, but the big players still do, and will continue to, dominate the market, no matter how the market changes; Random House currently publishes just over 8,000 books in electronic format and will expand their catalog by roughly 7,000 additional books. That doesn't mean they think that's where the future lies (e-books account for about 1% of overall book sales) but they're canny enough to see that they can sell their product by any means available, and the e-format means no packaging or distribution costs, and no returns.

Recession is a short-term thing, and to think it's anything else is short-sighted. The big guys will shed staff, but they won't go out of business; the small independents are the guys who will end up taking the bullet, which is a shame.

I agree sometimes we just like to gloom and doom it. I know the economy is bad but I think we write because we love to. If we get published and millions of people read and love what we write hay that is a really good bonus. The key is to do what you love and success and all the other stuff follows.

Gaines 03-06-2009 10:32 AM

For anyone with an interest I posted more info on this publishing subject on the Non Fiction forum. I put it there due to its length. Titled it: Doors Opening for New Authors.

Lin 03-06-2009 12:01 PM

Thing is, Mike. Economic ebb and flow are one thing, but a lot of the trouble with books in the future is because of factors that are not cyclic, but progressive.

They're made from trees, for one thing. Every decade that goes by there are more people, less land, etc, and paper cost goes way up.

Slick paper (like paper back covers) are coated with either clay... of which there is a finite supply, or plastic...which is made from petroleum.

They're printed with noxious chemicals.

But a MAIN factor is gasoline, an added ingredient that people miss when looking at global coast of everything: know how much gasoline goes into every bite you eat? Agricultural machines, transport to market...and even fertilizer is made from petroleum.

These costs will rise from their already overly high levels (come on $30 USD for a PAPERBACK BOOK??????--for books on acid paper that will fall apart in less than ten years????) as time goes on, it's inevitable.

eBooks on the other hand have virtually zero production cost and virtually no distribution/transportation cost. They could go up in price a thousands times and still cost virtually nothing.

There is also the specter of publishing companies using some really stupid business models that make them very vulnerable to any sort of crunch. Guaranteed returns, advances on royalties, idiotic promotional methods, layers of useless mid-management, decisions made for non-market reasons... many legacies.

Whereas eBooks are being marketed by young, lean companies and increasingly produced by RETAILERS. Amazon's Kindle, Starbucks' series of CD's, mobipocket, etc, etc.

I'm sure there was grumbling among monks that presses could never duplicate the quality and emotional/esthetic value of a lovingly hand-illuminated manuscript, done with lifetime skills. But it would have been obvious to most people that printing was the new paradigm.
I would see it as being like horses. People liked them better than noisy, funky automobiles, but it didn't matter: they got swept away.

But that was really a sort of anomaly. We might end up back with horses and oxen in the future. But books are bucking a trend that runs argainst them pretty much forever, and at a steepening rate. We're looking at inroads into them by technology and merchandising that's less than ten years old, each generation will be a move away from them.

The drawbacks of the wasteful production of books and paper periodicals are just too great, and the advantages of eBooks (no bulk, searchable text, font size control, low-cost production and distribution, etc) are just to great.


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