Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The Future of Publishing

Grumpy Old Bookman led me down an interesting path this morning. In his post, Running to Keep Up, he discusses the state of publishing, POD and the new direction Amazon is taking. This led me to some interesting articles at

Today's recommended reading:
Amazon, E-books and Chump Change, by rjnagle, discussing Amazon's purchase of a POD company and an ebook software company and the impact that will have on writers and book sellers. He's made so many thought-provoking points here, I'll just point you toward the article and let you ponder this yourself.

Also from, The same old story for U.S. publishing: more books, fewer sales. The highlights of this story:

"The number of books sold dropped by nearly 44 million between 2003 and 2004, even as the annual number of books published approaches 175,000.
"People are reading less, so what you're seeing is the same phenomenon that has hit magazines and newspapers, a massive shift toward home video, DVD, Internet and cable," said Albert N. Greco, an industry consultant and a professor of business at the graduate school of Fordham University."

So, what's the solution? How do we get people to read more? I'm far from an expert, but as I said in my somewhat embarrassing post on May 5th, take the books to where the people are! A few of the interesting ideas my booktrade search led me to: Vid Lit book trailers (I first read about this on agent obscura's blog, but I'm having trouble finding the original post) and the literary DJ competition.

A little goofy? Not high-brow enough for you? As children's writers, we should understand more than anyone how today's children and teens think and behave. Is it really any surprise that they'd respond when the worlds of music, TV, movies, computers and books come together to form the ultimate entertainment? Think pop culture. Think American Idol. Put it all together, and people will once again enjoy reading.

In case you were wondering, I'm not suggesting that you dumb-down your writing. I'm simply saying -- make your promotion interesting and take it to the people...wherever they are!

50 is the perfect age to write a book? Ah, nuts! Now, I'm not OLD enough?


At 2:51 PM, Blogger Kimberly Pauley said...

And strangely enough, we're seeing more and more books (esp. YA) being made into movies (Holes, Princess Diaries, Harry Potter, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Inkheart, Abarat, the Narnia Chronicles, The Lord of the Rings...I could go on and on). And every time a movie comes out, I get a new influx of people checking out the book on the site. So crossover can be good... But yeah, anything to make people read more.

At 7:30 PM, Blogger Susan Taylor Brown said...

Yes, I say anything to get the kids reading. Some people worry about the so-called "fluff" writing, books that are the literary equivalent of sitcoms with laughtracks but I believe that we should do whatever it takes to get them to start reading. Then, when they have had their fill of empty meals, they will look for something more substantial. Let them experience success with reading whatever it takes.

BTW, I've been reading and enjoying your blog for a few weeks. I appreciate your honesty.

Write on, right now.


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