Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The economy and publishing

BJK asked me to address the following here: "How does the economy affect publishing? Buying manuscripts etc?"

There are others who could address this question better than me, but first I would ask BJK: Why do you want to know? Why is this important? How will it affect your writing? If I tell you I've heard that the economy is making it even more difficult to get published, what will you do? Will that make you write harder or take a vacation?

All kidding aside, I'm thinking that you should check out MJ Rose (you can Google her). She talks about business a lot. Or you should forget about it.

Not what you were hoping for, huh?


Anonymous said...

It was a curiosity question and nothing that would impact my writing or breathing! Just like the question if gas cost more do you drive less?


Anonymous said...

It's always been hard, BJK, and getting harder with fiction. The bar is very high re: fiction, if you want a great publisher. If you want to self-publish, it's extremely easy.

But gas and books, couldn't be more different (although I would claim you can't live without books, and I'm looking into hybrid cars....)

Anonymous said...

I wanted to also say, if you want more of a handle on the business, read publishers lunch (www.publisherslunch.com, I think) that sends out daily emails on the business of publishing. Also, Google publishing stats. Read Publishers Weekly online. That'll all give you the business side.

But again, you can make yourself nuts if you get too into the business of it--unless you want to make real money, and in that case, you go into nonfiction. Yes, fiction bestsellers make real money, but they're few and far between. Many nonfiction writers can support themselves writing nonfiction books and other types of nonfiction. You can say this only about a few fiction writers.

Anonymous said...

A recession/depression might be the very best thing to happen to the publishing industry. Art, regardless of medium, is elitist by its very nature and somewhat political in what is offered to the public.
That isn't to say that Sunday painters should be banned from the park or a dude with a musical saw should have his wrists broken. Let them twang and daubel to their hearts content. But literature is different. In addition to painting word pictures; in addition to the music of the language, it also requires intelligence.
Perhaps publishing will again become what it was and should be and not a production line keeping the pipeline filled with cans of beans.

Anonymous said...

Aptly put!

Anonymous said...