Monday, October 19, 2009

Waiting For A New Profit Model

I went to a party last night where there were several writers.  One had a novel published and was being heavily leaned upon by her agent to write a nonfiction book, so that she could get an advance and not have to take a waitressing job. Another very established couple, each with several well-known novels under their belts, are reportedly having as much trouble as I am getting their new novels accepted. Finally, after much shopping and crying and shopping, one of them was able to get Penguin to take the new novel. She has an excellent agent obviously.  After awhile the party felt like a funeral: books are dead.
     Anyway, in tribute to all of these fine writers (and so many more), I thought I'd post this funny video, which may soon be pretty directly applicable to books.  Do you think online books and electronic book readers will replace the actual objects as has happened pretty much with newspapers?  Is that what's happening?
    Before answering, consider this article.


Anonymous said...

Probably. I mean I used to be one of those people who loved to spread out with the Sunday paper,liked the feel of that whole scene. But I almost never read a paper anymore. If my partner gets one and I start to read it, I give up--usually because I already know the "news" in it, and I've gotten used to the speed of reading news/opinon online--it's easier (maybe unfortunately) to dart around, skim a bit of something, figure out what I really want to read.

So the fact that diehards like me still like the feel of a book doesn't likely mean much. Pretty soon convenience will trump that--we just have to get used to it.

Then we can made a video like this to raise money for those poor editors.

Anonymous said...

If you are having this much trouble with the novel, and you are an award winning published author of what I assume is short fiction/creative non-fiction how does that cut for unpubbed writers? I mean on the one hand I feel like without some prior cred we be toast--so the time spent trying to get short fiction into good journals is worth it. On the other hand, is it a big fat waste of time because it doesn't help anyway?

On the third hand, there is Stephanie Meyer to never met a non-said dialogue tag she didn't like but has a very happy ending...

Next said...

The real question is whether or not books will become downloadable in the way music is, via Napster. If the publishing industry can make books available online, for a profit, we may see a rise in reading--and authors will then have income from two streams: print and online. That is the best case scenario. Publishers will still take a hit--and hence writers--because obviously books in the public domain are now available for free. The Rejecter (Google his name for the link; I never know how to post links) has a good post on this. But reading, and advances, will survive. If digitized books become widely available for free, we're all finished. But let's not forget itunes, where musicians are now recovering some of their losses.

Anonymous said...

If the book is dead I don't want another agent telling me how "glutted" the market is right now. If the publishing world is a river it's the Ganges, filled with chickenbones and ashes, yo.