A unique blog dedicated to covering the worlds of book publishing and the news media, revealing creative ideas, practical strategies, interesting stories, and provocative opinions. Along the way, discover savvy but entertaining insights on book marketing, public relations, branding, and advertising from a veteran of two decades in the industry of book publishing publicity and marketing.
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Saturday, May 27, 2017
Will The Curtain Close On The Book Publishing Circus?
“Greatest Show on Earth” folded its tents forever after its final performance
this past week. The Ringling Bros and
Barnum & Bailey Circus has entertained generations of kids and families for
the past 146 years. It is indeed the end
of an era and one of the greatest rings in entertainment history. It’s hard to believe the circus is dead in
circus cited greater production costs and waning ticket sales in an era where
everyone self-entertains through a digital box as the final nail in the
coffin. Decades of protests by animal
rights groups didn’t help either.
I think that something that found itself to be profitable for a century and a
half but is now no more, is hard to comprehend. It would be like Major League
Baseball just closing its doors or Hollywood studios shutting movie theaters –
or book publishers closing up shop. But
it’s no longer impossible to envision a dark day when any or all those things
one day cars that you drive may not be consumer options. The entire marketplace is changing and as
science, technology, and demographics shift dramatically, so will the things we
take for granted as being useful staples of our culture and society. So I pose to you the unthinkable – or the
inevitable: Will book publishing one day
cease to exist?
can be self-published by anyone. Many
authors bypass publishers and distribute directly to consumers. Will they completely eviscerate traditional
publishers still perform many valuable tasks when it comes to editing, cover
design, distribution, rights sales, foreign sales, and nurturing an author’s
brand. But for authors who don’t want to
share profits with the middleman and who don’t believe publishers really
benefit them, they will seek out alternative publishing options. The gatekeeper era is over.
the other hand, most authors do not make significant money self-publishing. They have start-up costs to get their book in
shape. Then they invest in marketing
packages to improve their distribution.
They may also hire a book publicist.
They will find they have to do or oversee every aspect of publishing,
sales, and marketing. They have
editorial control and feel free, but they too are not living in a panacea.
what’s the best solution?
think hybrid publishing makes a lot of sense, where writers and publishers bear
expense burdens fairly – and share in the profits more equitably. It’s a developing phenomenon that’s sure to
catch on over time.
should be some form of a book publishing industry for decades to come, even if
it seems like a free Internet and technological distractions are poised to push
it to extinction down the road. Is book
publishing following the path of the big-tent circus – or will it correct
course and find a way to still prove profitable and useful to the new world?
to send in the clowns, if for nothing else, to provide comic relief and rid our
brains of the burden of having to even contemplate a future without a book
in book sales influence how authors handle marketplace