Monday, December 15, 2008
The long and winding road to publishing
is getting longer and more winding.
By now, everyone interested in the publishing industry has heard the bad news. Even the big publishing houses, such as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Thomas Nelson, and Random House are not immune.
What are we, unpublished writers, to do? If you're inclined to see the sky falling, you may find some comfort in one editor's take on the situation. Mark Tavani, a senior editor at Random House, talked about it at Notes from the Handbasket, a blog by author Laura Benedict.
He doesn't offer a no-worries-things-will-be-back-to-the-good-old-days-you-just-wait. What he does offer is this:
But on the bright side, maybe fewer books will mean better books. Maybe, over time, books will regain an elite status that I sense they once had. Maybe, in the end, books won’t qualify precisely as mass entertainment, but entertainment for a sizable if select audience.
Not exactly unqualified confidence in the industry, but a reasonable and achievable state. In the mean time, those of us who love the written word, who love stories, who simply have to write will do just that: write. Focus on getting better in craft and more savvy in the profession. Doing the same thing we've already been doing.