So the publishing/book world is in a state of uncertainty right now with plenty of theories, doomsayers and zero confidence about how things are going to look in one year’s time, let alone 5 or 10 years. So what do we know and what can authors do to hang on, survive and thrive in this environment.
What we know.
- Right now publishers are still publishing printed books
- some publishers are publishing in other formats
- it has never been easier to publish your own work in different formats
- most importantly, people are still reading – millions of people if you look at how many copies of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ have sold.
- reading and writing skills are still acknowledged as fundamental to education and children are still being encouraged to read
What you can do
- You should be writing. Write the stories you want to write and rewrite and edit them until they are just how you want them to be
- keep up to date with which publishers publish what books
- keep up to date with advances and changes in new formats. You should at least know the basics of what an e-book and app are, how they are read, what the reading devices are and what formats are needed for the different devices. It would be even better if you also knew the basic steps to producing an e-book
- Are you still writing the stories you want to write?
- Meet other writers and/or illustrators. This will never be the wrong thing. Knowing other writers will strengthen your writing and your resolve and help you keep going when the going gets tough
- Keep your choice of mood enhancers handy
- Read current books. Know what’s hot and what’s not. It is IMPOSSIBLE to write the next hot thing. NO ONE, and I mean NO ONE, knows what the next bestseller will be, but you earn a lot of credibility with your target audience if they know you are reading the same books as them. And it helps your writing.
- No one knows what the formats of the future will be but any format will still need content. Are you still writing?
- Get involved. Help out at Storylines, Kiwiwrite4kidz events, run a critique group, a book club, maybe help run a book club in a local school, go read to some children who never get read to.
- Have an online presence. Whether you believe in it or not, like it or hate it, it’s where a whole lot of book stuff happens these days
- Keep writing. If you are not writing, you are not a writer. End of story