I’ve been reading a lot today about the changing nature of publishing. Mostly, I’ve been going through Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s blog archives on the subject, in case that kind of insider talk is of interest to you.
To sum up: the traditional publishing industry is hella borked, and everyone’s feeling the pain. This should come as no surprise, as technology is enabling a wave of new business models - suspect and legit alike - to flourish and die in rapid cycles, so nobody can say they have the One Single Surefire Answer for how to get books in readers’ hands. Which means that the big lumbering behemoths, the oldskool publishers, the Big Six, are floundering and panicking and nobody looks good or dignified* or clean no matter how hard they try.
I work in publishing, btw. Well, my actual ‘job’ is in publishing, but I’m also a freelance artist and I help run several conventions. Plus I have a Vested Interest in fandom, obviously. So I see a lot of weirdness on every front.
Recently, I shared an article on FB (yes, I know it’s a flawed platform, but it’s still useful for a few core reasons behind all the privacy-bullshit advertising clutter) with my RL friends about one of those One Direction fanfics getting a deal to be tidied up for ‘real’ publishing. And an author!friend - who’s been published in the past, mind, not an aspiring-to-be-published-eventually author - remarked, “No wonder I’m not getting responses from editors anymore.” Like fanfiction is stealing her chances, her contracts, her readers.
Which is complete and utter bullshit. I didn’t even know where to *begin* taking that statement apart, but I think I’m starting to grok the fundamentals now.