Monday, January 24, 2011

Rocks are Nice but...

Before you freak out about the book industry, consider this:

There are some AMAZING things happening right now. Borders and midlist freak-outs or no, the bottom line is that people are still making money on books. It may not be in the same format as it always was -- and Mary Kole had an excellent post about what that means for agents, if you're interested -- but authors are no less in demand than they once were.

Some of the coolest things going on:

Picture Books Apps (and Apps in general)
Have you SEEN one of these suckers? They are the neatest thing since sliced bread! Not only do they read stories to your children, the children can TOUCH things in the story to make sounds and say words, they can play games and fill in the colors, they can choose alien bodies for cat heads; the possibilities are expanding daily. Parents love them as an alternative to movies and video games for entertainment, and authors love them...because parents are loving them.

Japanese Text-books
I don't think I actually want to try one of these out, but just the thought that people are becoming best-sellers via text blows my mind.

Send-a-story Cards
Just another example of how clever new packaging or ways to read mean MORE sales and income, rather than the death of publishing and authors!

E-pressesI know authors that make over $50,000 a year on ROYALTIES ALONE via e-presses. Not that I'm saying it's the norm; certainly, the majority of these are in romance and they publish four or five titles a year, but still. I know these up-and-coming venues still tend to be looked down upon as one step above self-publishing, but they are definitely a force to be reckoned with.

The YA Market
Not exactly a technological development, but defintiely a sign of hope in publishing. Consistantly, TEENS DON'T LIKE E-BOOKS. This is our future, and the market is booming; all the new genres available are paving the way like a gateway drug into the adult market. Of course, as soon as e-readers become more affordable (and replaceable) for teens, they'll probably start climbing the e-charts too. But they'll still be reading!!

These are just a FEW awesome publishing developments that I can think of right now, but really...that ALONE should tell you...the future isn't bleak...if you embrace it! If you know of anything else I've missed here, please do share below; I'd love to hear of it!


  1. Excellent! Thanks for spreading some cheer! :) Beautiful photo at the top of your blog too.

  2. Thanks for the insight, I have reached a point where I am not sure which direction I should turn, this gave me a good push.

  3. I was setting up a meeting last week and this attorney had a Nook. I asked how she liked it. She had 300 books on there...she'd paid for 75% of them. She didn't buy them from a used bookstore or check them out from the library -- she paid full price to download almost all of them. Avid readers are shopaholics and what I've noticed is, they get these e-readers and go a little nuts. I still personally prefer a real book to an electronic one and I'll no doubt cling to that until the day real books are no longer available, but this makes me realize, e-readers or not, books will never stop being an integral part of our society. Society will just change the way it reads books. I have a feeling if prices would drop to a bit more reasonable on e-books, more people would embrace the technology. But cheapskates like me just won't pay more for an e-book than paperback...ever.

  4. That video at the beginning was priceless by the way, great segway. And thanks for saying all the innovation that's going on. And you brought up some really good points about e-books. They aren't something scary to be reckoned with, they're simply a change. And there can still be room for paper books too.

  5. Loved the video. That's how I felt teaching my father about computers when I was 13 (he still doesn't get it. :D ) Anyway, the apps stuff IS cool. There was a PB author at the conference in Miami that showed us his app that he has for his latest PB and it was SWEET. Made me want to go straight out and get it for my 3 y/o. The best part of it was it was CHEAP, too. Only a couple of dollars (I just needed the iPad first. ; ) ). And since it was a compliment to the PB instead of a replacement, I could see how that would be a booming business. Parents buy the book and the app and their kids start reading because it's FUN. It's a win-win for everyone.

  6. Great post Natalie. I'm getting tired of hearing about the Doom and Gloom in publishing.

    Personally, I prefer the books still to be in my hands where I can bend pages and ruin them as I like. But I don't think e-books are anything to be afraid of, either.

    As someone who travels frequently, it's just that much easier to take my entire library with me. It will never replace the joy I get from reading a physical book (and if I really like the book, I'll purchase copies in both e-book and physical form), but I don't consider it a scary thing that e-books are selling so well.

  7. I love the feel of a book in my hands, but I also love the ease and convenience of my Kindle. (Oh, sure, that "Purchase from you ereader" one-click function is doing a number on my credit card, but I'm learning to control my impulse spending :) ) The technology is here. Let's use it to get good stories and information out to anyone we can in whatever way we can. Change is always a bit bumpy, but we're nothing if not adaptable.

    Also, I'd like a piece of that $50K royalty pie.

  8. I love that video! Saw it a few years back and it's still on my favorites list on YouTube.

    I think people are always scared of change, especially when it comes to publishing now. Change always involve some growing pains but most of the time, we're better for it. I'm optimistic about the future of books, especially with the booming YA market and the fact that these kids will one day be big readers as they grow up.

    And I also think as eReaders become more popular, more eBooks will be available through the library. I've only bought two eBooks on my Nook and the rest I've read from the library or got the old classics from Gutenburg Project. They're amazing and I'm so glad I have my Nook.

  9. That was a great video clip! I like your fresh perspective on the book industry and where it's going with technology. The love of reading will never fade. And as long as it's there, authors will be needed. Someone has to write the story :)

  10. Thanks for the information on the evolving publishing industry. I couldn't stop laughing at that hilarious clip!

  11. A very uplifting post, and here's some accompanying evidence to go with it: Tonight I was at our local Barnes and Noble picking up the books I ordered. There were LOADS of teens there, all intent on making purchases. Overheard while while waiting on line: "I love bookstores." 'nuff said.