The Demise of Print?

I was just reading Piers Anthony's website. For those of you who don't know who he is, Piers Anthony is one of the biggest names in fantasy. He's written the Immortals series, and the punnish Xanth series for years. I think Xanth may be on book forty-something. He said something interesting in his notes that made me think  . . . 

Publishing is at a crossroads. I remember when I first started getting my first rejection letters. You'd look up the information in THE WRITER'S MARKET, write up your query letter, include your SASE (Self-addressed, stamped envelope) kiss it good luck and send it off. Months later you'd receive a standard, "Dear Author:" letter. The big publishers in New York still work that way. Though more often than not, they're talking only to agents. So, you send your letter to the agent now and get your rejection. An agent once spoke at a convention I went to. He said you can get an agent if you have a contract in hand. However, you can't get a contract in hand unless you have an agent. Or God's own luck.

Anyway, Piers Anthony, a man who's been published in countless countries, in countless languages thinks the self-publishing and ebook trade will revolutionize the book industry. Some day, print books will be a curiosity--something those of us who've always loved books will collect, but no longer the standard. The self-publishing industry or small publisher will be the driving force behind books and the large dinosaurs in New York will find themselves extinct.

I can already see it happening. Ten years ago, Solstice would have really struggled. The internet was around, but Amazon and internet shopping wasn't such a galvanizing force. Being in the book stores was the big draw. If you weren't at Borders, your book would languish and die. Not so anymore. I've seen for myself in the last couple of months just how vibrant and alive the on-line small markets are.

I've been trying to get published for so long. I've seen a lot of things come and go, but I think in certain ways Piers Anthony is right. The smaller publishers and the self-publishing trend is already revolutionizing the publishing world. For the better, in my opinion and not just because it was my avenue to publication. The smaller companies are taking chances I haven't seen in the big New York companies!

As for ebooks replacing traditional print books . . . .well, that's another entry!


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