Signs of Acceptance Among Agents

Excerpted from “It’s The End Of Publishing As We Know It: Do You Feel Fine?” by Nathan Bransford, a literary agent with the San Francisco office of Curtis Brown, Ltd.:

Well, in my opinion there are two meta forces at work in book publishing at the moment. With the closing of bookstores, fewer titles being ordered by the bookstores that are left, and more people buying their books in stores where there are fewer titles available (i.e. box stores like WalMart), there is tremendous pressure on publishers to invest in the few books that can reliably sell.

At the same time, the Internet and e-books are opening up new sales avenues for authors who either catch on through word of mouth or are able to build their own buzz. As a result, you’re seeing progressively more self-published and small-press books rise up through the cacophony of titles and find their readers.

In essence, it’s the best of times and the worst of times. If you’re an enterprising author there is a world of opportunity out there. Never before have we had a book publishing world where truly anyone could publish and potentially find their readers. Before there was a fundamental obstacle: distribution. That’s going away. Anyone can publish. It’s a massive, groundbreaking shift! I suspect soon there will be even more opportunities for collectives and online communities to boost sales, build brands, and become real players in publishing. Out of chaos comes order.

Read the full post here.