Friday, Dec 24, 2010

Paradigm Shifts in Publishing

The publishing industry is acquiring a new face as major changes take place in the industry. Gone are the days when a writer could submit a manuscript, expect the one-on-one assistance of an editor, and achieve publication mainly because of an editor’s decision, not the marketing department’s.  

So what are some of these changes?  First of all, traditional publishers used to be numerous. But in recent years, smaller publishing houses have been bought out by major ones so that today, from the latest information I’ve received, there are five major publishing conglomerates that own all the other houses. 

This phenomenon has a ripple-down effect for a writer.  It means that today it’s more important than ever to have a platform. What is a platform?  It is a place of influence which a writer has already established and which he brings to the bargaining table.  Unfortunately, some of the best writers do not have a platform, while less talented writers do. So who usually gets the contract? The writer with the platform. 

In order to present a fair and balanced assessment of this situation,  I will say that publishers need to make a certain profit to remain in business. So they must consider bottomline results. 

At the same time, the ordinary writer must often turn to other options.  What are some of these options?  Three of the most popular are self-publishing, subsidy publishing, and partner publishing.  We’ll discuss each of these in future posts.


P.S. Be sure to check out my update website at

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