This post, by Clare Langley-Hawthorne, originally appeared on the Kill Zone blog on 4/15/13.
I read a recent blog post on The Guardian book blog about the 10 ways self-publishing has changed the book world and, after Jim’s post yesterday, it got me thinking about how I would explain the current state of the book world to friends and family who are neither authors, nor wanna-be writers, but who, as book readers, are nonetheless intrigued by all the changes going on in publishing.
I’ve summarized the Guardian’s top 10 list below and am interested in whether or not you agree (though I do think most of them are pretty self-evident):
1. There is now a wider understanding and increased visibility about what publishing is (and acceptance that it’s more difficult than it looks). Self-publishing has enabled people to learn the process and understand what is involved which has led to a wider awareness and diversity in the publishing process.
2. We are no longer confident that publishers and agents know what everyone wants or should read.
3. The copy-editor is now in strong demand as writers realize the limitations of self-editing. Freelance copy-editors are now in high demand by both self-publishing authors and traditional publishing houses.
4. The book as a ‘precious’ object is re-emerging as publishers produce limited, luxury editions.
5. Authors are being empowered to do their own marketing and are no longer reliant on publishers to mediate the relationship between authors and their readers. Looking ahead, authors are likely to be less compliant with what their publishers demand of them.