I just got back from my first agents’ and editors’ conference. As someone who enjoys being an independent publisher, I confess to some resistance to exploring traditional publishing. However, it was a great way to meet agents and other writers and to learn what’s going on in the industry.
So what is going on in the industry? Well, it’s not looking good. It’s tougher to get a book published today through traditional means, and even established authors are getting less support for promoting their work. One agent told the story of an author with eight–count ’em, eight–best sellers, who was used to going on her book tours in planes and in limos, who is now driving around at her own expense.
There is still a stigma, perhaps even more so, for the self-published book. Print on demand technologies, while making it easier to get published, allow anyone to publish whether or not they have a good book.
For me, it all comes back to indy publishing. I can hire my own editors and printers and proceed as planned. If I get a significant audience, I can possibly attract a publisher. In the meantime, though, it looks like the message is “stay the course.”