The Only Constant is Change

As the old adage goes, the only thing constant in life is change. Everything in life changes, and people are always left struggling to catch up. The publishing industry is no exception to this rule.

With the introduction of electronic books and the rise of self publishing via websites like Create Space, LuLu, and Smashwords, the shape of publishing as most writers knew it is morphing into something new and different. It’s becoming more of a “do it yourself” atmosphere, and I’m not sure how much that is affected by the up and coming generations’ sense of entitlement or if it’s just a sign of the times.

Ebooks are attractive because there is very little cost to put out product, which means product costs less, so the consumer buys more. In theory.

The old powerhouses are losing their solid hold. They have somewhat outdated business practices and are struggling to change, but it’s like a turtle with the world on its back – it takes time and huge effort to adjust course. Small presses are springing up everywhere, and because they are small and new, they can jump right into what seems to be working.

I’m not sure anyone quite knows what to expect yet. I think the decentralization of the big name publishing houses is probably inevitable. Hopefully that means the rise of the small press, not the rise of self-publishing, though. Although who is to say that self-publishing will sustain the somewhat tarnished image it has now in the future?

Regardless of how malleable the industry is right now, it doesn’t change my goals all that much. I’d still like to follow a traditional publishing route by submitting to the big name houses that everybody knows. I’m sure in the future it will affect me and how I do things, but the dust will have to settle first. I’m interested to see where the chips fall, however, I think it might be awhile before the industry settles and we all know what’s what.

And who knows: by then, there might be something even newer and more different to shake up the industry. Technology will continue to evolve, society to shift, and industries will continue to struggle to catch up with the changing times.

Sara is a Kansas-grown author of the fantasy and horror persuasions. She is convinced that fantastical things are waiting for her just around the corner, and until she finds the right corner, she writes about those things instead.

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