Where Do We Go From Here?
I admit to feeling a bit of schadenfreude when it comes to the publishing industry. Part of it stems from my usual self-deprecation of my own career, and part of it stems from anticipating what may lie ahead. As a result, when I read that Anderson News was suspending its book and magazine distributing activities, thereby wrecking the distribution of hundreds of magazines and book releases, I had to suppress a little thrill of excitement.
With the industry as we know it changing more quickly than anyone would ever have realized, where do we go from here? Certainly no one knows what will happen to books, authors, book retailers and publishers within the next six months–or even just next week–but should we keep chugging along as we’ve always done and just sit tight and wait to see what happens?
I say no.
Even more than no, I advise my fellow authors to start looking at themselves as a product. It has been a long time since writing, submitting and showing up for a book-signing was enough to keep food on the table–particularly since NY is not going to hand out those lavish advances to unknown fiction authors. For indie writers, that means we need to go above and beyond to get our writing–not just that novel, but any other form of writing you find is your strength and/or are interested in–in front of an audience. It could be a blog. It could be podcasting. It could be getting out in your local neighborhood and making connections. It could be forming a workshop. Anything. Writing a book, and even getting published/publishing it is not the end of the road.
If you are a writer, then write–anything.