Friday, June 07, 2013

Writing: What's Next In Publishing?

In the picture here the sun is just rising over the mountains of North Carolina, one of our favorite places to go to get away from it all. But if I told you the sun was setting, you'd probably accept that as well. It's hard to tell from just one picture.

When I retired from medicine, my intention was to play golf, travel, read, enjoy my family, and in general relax after thirty-six years in my chosen profession. Instead, through a series of circumstances in which God's hand was obvious, I began to write--first, a non-fiction book, The Tender Scar: Life After The Death Of A Spouse, and then a series of novels. After four novels written over four years, garnering forty rejections, I got a publishing contract. Since then, I've had five novels published, with the sixth and seventh scheduled. I've even managed to get some excellent reviews and win a few awards and honors.

But now things appear to be changing in this second profession of mine. E-books are becoming more popular, while printed book sales may be declining. Self-publishing via the medium of e-books seems to be taking on a life of its own. A new term is creeping into the vocabulary of authors: "hybrid," referring to authors who have had books published by conventional publishers but also are e-publishing some of their own books. And in the midst of all this, some publishers are being bought by other, larger houses, while some are changing what they publish.

So my question to you, gentle reader or fellow author, is this: Is the sun setting on conventional publishing, or is it still rising? My crystal ball is pretty cloudy, so I'd love to hear what you think.

PS--Thanks to all of you who voted for Stress Test on Clash of the Titles. I'm happy to say that it won. You can see details here.

(photo by the author)

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