March 21st, 2014
You have to feel it was all a waste of time, this notion that somehow writing and publishing were being “reinvented” by new ideas and approaches and the startup companies behind them. Or even that being an independent publisher of any sort is worth the back-breaking effort.
Have a look at the nominees for the 2014 Indies Choice awards. As far as I can see every single title is from one of the big five publishers (or one of their “independent” imprints). I only checked the adult books; maybe there’s an independent among the kid’s titles. According to Wikipedia “throughout the year, Book Sense independent booksellers from across the country nominate for inclusion in the monthly Book Sense Picks the books that they most enjoyed hand-selling to their customers.”
I know that lots of self-published books are available online only. I also know that there are thousands of independent publishers of all shapes and sizes that issue books in print. I guess it’s just no fun selling those books.
For decades there’s been a clear order to the publishing universe, from author to agent to brand-name publisher to publicity machine to booksellers to reviews to awards. If that doesn’t change, well, will anything change?