Thrillerfest, The Publishing Apocalypse & Why Is There Cause to Celebrate?

My first signing at Craftfest. Um, never mind there are no books. I TRIED!

My first signing as a Craftfest presenter. Um, never mind there are no books. I TRIED!

Thrillerfest is a phenomenal conference packed full of experts and even heroes. It’s also a unique conference in that it takes place in NYC, right in the heart of traditional publishing. One of my major goals for WANA has been to serve writers—ALL writers. Publishing has been a One Size Fits All model for generations, and a lot of great writing has been collateral damage.

In fact, the paper-driven paradigm had driven many forms of writing to the brink of extinction—short stories, novellas, poetry, serials, pulp fiction, epic fiction, etc—simply because these types of works were a bad investment for a business that must turn a profit in order to survive and keep investing in new authors.

WANA LOVES ALL WRITERS

WANA has always made it a point to never make authors feel they needed to choose sides. Traditional is a better fit for some authors and indie isn’t for everyone. Self-publishing is far from a panacea. Each one has strengths and weaknesses and I explore that in Rise of the Machines–Human Authors in a Digital World.

The key to building the perfect platform for your career is to make an honest assessment of which publishing path fits your personality, your work and your needs. WANA is not a Social Media Snuggie.

I’m a huge fan of the new paradigm, namely because we are seeing an explosion of creativity. New genres are being birthed and old forms are being resurrected. I’ve spent many, many blogs imploring NY to realize that self-publishing and indie publishing do not have to be enemies. Yet, last year I was excruciatingly frustrated when I returned from Thrillerfest.

Some people felt I was being mean in that post, but when you love something you sometimes need to be tough. Last year, when few seemed to be acknowledging the pink elephant (Amazon) in the room and some comments about self-publishing were utterly inappropriate, I was annoyed at the lack of foresight.

And, when I kept hearing mantras like, “E-books are a fad” “People love bookstores” and “Readers will always want paper”?

I wanted to scream.

Borders was already dead and gone and Barnes & Noble had been experiencing major losses. If things didn’t change? Authors would be hurt the most because (at the time), I believed leadership wasn’t looking ahead. They were too busy protecting what had always been.

I felt like Jerry MacGuire:

Help me, help you!

Thrillerfest 2013---Kind of a scary welcome. My blog wasn't THAT bad.

Thrillerfest 2013—Kind of a scary welcome. My blog wasn’t THAT bad.

“If You’re Not at the Table, It Means You’re on the Menu”

I read the above quote out of John C. Maxwell’s latest book The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth. It really spoke to me and helped me realize the root of my frustration with traditional publishers over the past few years. They’ve consistently refused to sit at the table of the new paradigm and that meant they were on the menu (placing its authors on the menu as well).

The Publishing Apocalypse

A federal judge recently ruled that Apple illegally conspired with five of the six biggest publishers to inflate prices in the emerging e-book market. Apple will be disciplined and the big publishers are certain to take a hit as well, though actual damages have yet to be ruled.

While the big publishers remain insistent they’ve done nothing wrong, it seems unlikely they will take on the Department of Justice a second time. This means Amazon is poised and ready to absorb even more of the book market.

William Lynch, CEO of Barnes&Noble resigned early this month after devastating earning reports made it clear that Barnes & Noble was losing the battle to Amazon. Their Nook had failed to keep pace with other devices like the Kindle Fire and the iPad, despite B&N’s partnering with Microsoft.

Original image via Flikr Creative Commons courtesy of Aaron Charlton

Original image via Flikr Creative Commons courtesy of Aaron Charlton

According to the New York Times article by David Streitfeld, E-Book Ruling Gives Amazon and Advantage, “The verdict in the Apple case might have been a foregone conclusion, telegraphed by the judge herself, but it emphatically underlined how the traditional players in the book business have been upended. Only Amazon, led by Mr. Bezos, seems to have a plan. He is executing it with a skill that infuriates his competitors and rewards his stockholders.”

Barnes & Noble, upon Lynch’s departure, appointed Michael P. Huseby former CFO to CEO. Additionally, according to another recent article by Julie Bosman in the New York Times Chief Leaves Barnes & Noble After Losses on E-Readers“Max J. Roberts, the chief executive of the college division, will report to Mr. Huseby, while Mr. Huseby and Mitchell S. Klipper, the chief executive for the retail stores, will report to Leonard Riggio, the company’s chairman.”

These decisions hint that this is a likely a step toward “separating the digital and retail divisions, as the company has indicated it might do. Barnes & Noble has been in talks over a potential sale of its digital assets, as well as its 675 bookstores.”

What Does This Mean?

All of this points to an ominous sign that the bookstores likely will be broken up, which is why I’ve been adamant that writers (and traditional publishers) stop relying so much on the brick-and-mortar-model, since it was clear from history (Tower Records & Kodak) that these retailers would likely experience record contraction or go away altogether.

(I doubt bookstores will disappear completely just reinvent as I mentioned in this post last year The WANA Plan to Save Bookstores & Revive Publishing).

This has been another reason I have been passionate in my crusade to educate writers how to create an author brand on-line using blogging and social media. If the bookstores go away or shrink to the point of inconsequence, our only lifeline for success is the Internet.

Historically, bookstores have been the main hub where readers discover authors. That has completely changed. If we fail to appreciate this, we plan to fail.

After All of This, Why Was Thrillerfest So Encouraging? Welcome to the “Lifting of the Veil”

Rather than bringing in a big publisher to talk about favorite books and ignore the consumer landscape, ITW (International Thriller Writers) recruited Russ Grandinetti, Vice President of Kindle Content and Kindle Direct Publishing to speak. They also invited Createspace to be an active part of the conference and allowed ME to teach blogging at Craftfest, which shows they are looking to the future (or that they need better security :D).

Grandinetti’s speech left me in tears.

FINALLY!

Grandinetti spoke about how it is a brilliant time to be a writer and how traditional and non-traditional don’t have to be adversaries (Sound familiar?). By using the new tools available, authors (even traditional authors) can keep fires burning with fans in between books and help big publishers reinvent and become more profitable.

Authors are now free to write serials, shorts, prequels and maybe even try new genres. Authors can stretch as artists after being in a severely restrictive business model for so many generations. We now are seeing the emergence of the hybrid-author, just as indie giants like NYTBSA Bob Mayer predicted years ago.

(And a major reason WANA never chose sides. I always believed one day they might work together).

I nearly passed out when mega-author-legend David Morrell asked for help understanding how to improve his metadata and when Anne Rice spoke about her love for Facebook. The energy this year was completely different. Rather than attending a wake, it was like attending a baby shower. The excitement for the future was palpable and it was a joy and it was an honor to witness this.

*and the choir sings*

Yes, an apocalypse can mean destruction—destruction of outdated operations, old thinking, ineffective models—but like a forest fire, an apocalypse also opens room for something new and vibrant and even stronger to emerge.

The fact that the biggest authors in the business were now looking at new ways of doing things? *happy dance* Finally, everyone agrees that stories and information, authors and readers are more important than keeping the status quo. YAY!

We are in scary but wonderful times and no matter which path you choose to take, please know two things:

1. ALL authors need an on-line platform.

2. It is the best time in HUMAN HISTORY to be a writer.

I knew NY had it in them. And, though the judgement against Apple and the major publishers does have a dark side (namely that competition keeps markets healthy), we can at least rejoice in this awakening and hope this leads to improved business creativity. Hey, NYC can learn a lot from writers :D.

What are your thoughts? Do you feel encouraged? Overwhelmed?

I LOVE hearing from you!

To prove it and show my love, for the month of July, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly. I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novelor your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).

NOTE: My prior two books are no longer for sale, but I am updating them and will re-release. My new book, Rise of the Machines–Human Authors in a Digital World is NOW AVAILABLE.

Also, Remember there is a class on Antagonists THIS Friday (recorded if you can’t make it). Use WANA15 for 15% off.

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  1. #1 by Lynn on July 24, 2013 - 11:13 am

    I am both encouraged and disappointed. I am encouraged, because writers have a chance at success if they do it right. I am discouraged because so many authors are doing it wrong when they self-publish – no cover art, no editor, no author platform, etc. It’s discouraging as a book reviewer because I REALLY want to love their book. :( I recently saw that Harlequin has a “digital first” line now (not Carina). They are obviously wising up a bit. Great post, as always. (www.genrebookreviews.com)

  2. #2 by Melissa Bowersock on July 24, 2013 - 11:20 am

    How fabulous to see it all start to come together as you imagined. It’s a great day. Now if we could just get the energy companies to spearhead renewable energy rather than hanging onto fossil fuels by their fingernails, the whole world would be in as great a shape as the world of the indie author. Guess we just need to show the rest of the world how to reinvent an industry.

  3. #3 by Jodie Renner on July 24, 2013 - 11:27 am

    Great stuff, Kristen! So true! I recently presented a workshop on self-publishing on Amazon and dispelled a lot of misconceptions by people who haven’t been keeping up with all the changes occurring in the publishing industry, practically at the speed of light!

    I love your posts, although I don’t often respond. I’ll try to be better at commenting! It was good to meet you briefly in person at Thrillerfest.

    Keep up the great work! It’s great to have people like you who keep us informed of the latest developments! :-)

    Jodie Renner, independent editor and craft-of-writing author
    http://www.JodieRenner.com

  4. #4 by Sandra Wagner-Wright on July 24, 2013 - 11:34 am

    As I prepare for the PNWA conference that starts tomorrow, your observations are timely and improve my focus. I’m going for two reasons – learn more about the business side (a constant learning curve for me – better since reading ROM), and secondly to participate in pitch sessions. I have an excellent product (mss). The present challenge is how I want to publish. Every step brings me closer to publication. BTW – nice picture. :-)

  5. #5 by cynthiagrstacey on July 24, 2013 - 11:41 am

    As scary as navigating social media is/was I am slowly learning a lot and am encouraged by your posts. I love your book and the more I learn the better I feel about the whole big internet thingy! It started out as a big scary monster but is turning into more of a muppet! Thanks Kristen, I enjoy all of your posts!

  6. #6 by Lucy Lit on July 24, 2013 - 11:48 am

    Thank you for another great post that provides validation to writers of all methodologies. As a first time author launching my baby later this year, I am encouraged by your observations. And scared out of my mind. Thanks for holding my hand through the web!

  7. #7 by lisawiedmeier on July 24, 2013 - 11:54 am

    I too am encourage and yet discourage. I’ve done all the right things, online platform, professionals covers, professional editing, (even got contacted from a big agency in NY, which didn’t work out) …but I still feel so lost. The discouragement comes from not knowing how to market in an ever changing market. What worked six months ago, doesn’t even get the bat of an eyelash now. While there is great potential for Indie Authors, finding the right doors is a challenge…and with Amazon’s ever changing algorithms, it feels a bit hopeless at times. For me, come September, I’m stepping away from Amazon’s KDP program and opening myself up to just about every other market there is. While KDP served it’s purpose when it started, it doesn’t do anything for me now. I keep knocking at the doors, hoping someday, someone will open one up before I explode from brain overload. :P

    • #8 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 24, 2013 - 11:56 am

      Write more books ;).

    • #9 by lisawiedmeier on July 24, 2013 - 11:59 am

      lol! I’ve got four out already with a fifth coming out in the spring…my fingers are on fire! :p How many books does it take?

      • #10 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 24, 2013 - 12:03 pm

        As many as it takes, but once you hit the tipping point, BOOM! COMPOUNDED SALES :D This business isn’t easy and we writers have long faced a staggering failure rate. But the good news is in the new paradigm it isn’t over until we quit.

        • #11 by lisawiedmeier on July 24, 2013 - 12:08 pm

          Well, I’m not quitting anytime soon, so eventually the tipping point will come! Just gotta hold on till then. :) Thanks for supporting and encouraging.

          • #12 by Debbie on July 25, 2013 - 8:58 am

            “It isn’t over until we quit.” I absolutely love that. Is that yours? Brilliant.

  8. #13 by Brenda Harris on July 24, 2013 - 12:33 pm

    ! It’s been so frustrating listening to staunch authors refuse to accept digital books, including PBs, as part of our future legacy. So, I see we’re getting a glimmer of hope now that it’s ok. Yea!

  9. #14 by Addy Rae on July 24, 2013 - 12:48 pm

    So encouraging! I’m glad heads are turning and ears are perking up, and I hope the constant picking one side and bashing the other behaviors will decrease. :)

  10. #15 by Ellen M. Gregg on July 24, 2013 - 12:54 pm

    This report on Thrillerfest is so heartening, Kristen! I’m glad to know the industry is listening at a greater level than last year, and that the conference had people like you and Anne Rice (I adore her Facebook page; she’s always inciting controversial conversation) to speak to the social media aspect. While there’s much more work to be done, and many more labor pains to ride out, publishing’s mid-life crisis seems poised to take a turn for the better. Good times. :-D

  11. #16 by Hildie McQueen on July 24, 2013 - 1:12 pm

    Good advice, I’m glad to hear it. Thank you for everything you share to help us.

  12. #17 by ensisk on July 24, 2013 - 1:32 pm

    It’s funny how many companies come to regret “fads”, you’d think they learned their lesson from the music industry. What I’m trying to remember is if musicians fought digital music this hard? I know there’s always been a rift between those who signed with big name record labels and indies, but I don’t recall any discussing the scent of a cassette tape or that feeling when you unwrap the plastic from a CD.

  13. #18 by Stephanie Scott on July 24, 2013 - 1:41 pm

    I’m glad to know you noticed a specific change in the tides! So good to hear.

    I just attended RWA’s National conference in Atlanta. I’m newer to RWA, but last year the members-only RWA forums were on fire about the lack of recognition for self-published authors. This year there was an indie book signing in the same spot as the publisher imprint signings, there was a whole track of workshops on self-publishing, including a stellar session by Courtney Milan who discusses metadata, and I even heard that self-pubs can qualify for the RITA awards next year. I think when writers want this information, the industry-focused groups need to evolve with them. Then NYC takes notice.

  14. #19 by Gretchen on July 24, 2013 - 1:47 pm

    I didn’t make it to Thrillerfest, but I did just get back from the RWA National convention in Atlanta, and it was a WONDERFUL experience. The Self-Publishing track was phenomenal, and perhaps the best attended track of the convention. The focus was on hybrid authors, and the camaraderie and support was really remarkable. Those who’ve found success in self-publishing shared numbers, as well as advice. It was great to see so many people, including some Big Name Authors in self-pub and in traditional pub, discussing new ways engage readers and take control of your career. It’s a very exciting time to be an author.

  15. #20 by Becky Fyfe on July 24, 2013 - 2:13 pm

    I am excited about the new paradigm. I have friends who have done really well with self-publishing and indie publishing, so I know it is an option when my work is ready.

  16. #21 by sharonhughson on July 24, 2013 - 2:55 pm

    I don’t want to see Amazon with a monopoly, so I hope B&N and Apple can figure out how to get in the ebook game.
    I still hope to be traditionally published and I don’t know if this means the outlook in that arena is better or worse with this news. I hope better *crosses fingers.*
    Thanks for being our eyes, ears and voice at Thrillerfest.

    • #22 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 24, 2013 - 3:31 pm

      Well, like I said in ROM, “Monopolies are bad juju.” Not that I don’t love Amazon, but the best marketplace is one with healthy, creative competition. I think we are at least headed in the right direction in that it seems NY is realizing the old days of the brick-and-mortar-model are going extinct. Acceptance is half the battle.

      • #23 by Widdershins on July 24, 2013 - 5:50 pm

        The really annoying thing is though, the ‘Big 4-3-ish’ are getting into bed with Author Solutions or one of it’s many tentacled offshoots, and they now have vanity presses (by any other name – imprints) firmly attached to them. As if they’ve realised there’s money to be made in them thar indie authors and are cashing in on their ‘respectable’ names.

        • #24 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 24, 2013 - 6:32 pm

          I actually talk about that in the new book. My enthusiasm comes from big name authors realizing there are more opportunities. They are powerful people and the bread and butter of traditional publishing. They have the power to make the big traditionals reinvent properly.

  17. #25 by laurie27wsmith on July 24, 2013 - 3:21 pm

    Sorry Kristen, this is a test post, I’ve tried to post a couple of times now but it doesn’t go up.

    • #26 by Shawn Mc on July 24, 2013 - 4:27 pm

      we can see it!

  18. #27 by Dennis Langley on July 24, 2013 - 3:22 pm

    Evolution is always interesting to watch. Watching it happen as a writer is a little traumatic as future plans need to be tweaked as the industry shifts back and forth. It will be interesting to see how the B&N situation falls out.

  19. #28 by Diana Beebe on July 24, 2013 - 4:00 pm

    Progress has to happen (at least until the machines really do take over…sorry, you know my take on Skynet and all ;-) ) and I’m really glad to see that the veil is lifting. I’ll keep writing. Eventually, I’ll probably self publish a few things, but I’m also looking for something traditional.

    I’m looking forward to your class on Friday, and I’m enjoying ROM!

  20. #29 by Tamara LeBlanc on July 24, 2013 - 4:23 pm

    This is INCREDIBLE, INCREDIBLE!!! I didn’t know the Apple story. Thanks for sharing it.
    And thank you for always putting writers first.
    I loved what you said, that this is the BEST time in human history to be an author.
    Booo-yaaa!!
    Thanks for your wisdom and for the Thrillerfest update.
    Have a great evening,
    Tamara

  21. #30 by Daniel Escurel Occeno on July 24, 2013 - 4:46 pm

    [that Barnes & Noble was losing the battle to Amazon.] I was getting ready to write that Borders and many failed retailers lost the battle to high gasoline prices until I read down under: “The WANA Plan to Save Bookstores & Revive Publishing” I will take the time to scrutinize this post. I started following your blog on 1/2013. I will hold off in writing that Barnes and Noble should look at new locations with established actual Foot Traffic markets where people mostly walk to buy something – not a necessity. Avoid needing an automobile to get there since they have plenty of those locations, now.

  22. #31 by mentzer2150 on July 24, 2013 - 6:37 pm

    I see myself as a tradtionalist author in that I want to see my books on a shelf in a store. However, I also see the value to e-books and the evolution of the industry in that direction. I want to have my books read by people and so I’ll put them where they need to go even if I have to stand at an airport gateway and sell them there.

  23. #32 by katbiggie on July 24, 2013 - 8:45 pm

    This post makes me feel incredibly optimistic! I am writing my first novel and I felt like success would be almost impossible. I feel very encouraged!

  24. #33 by ontyrepassages on July 24, 2013 - 9:02 pm

    In the music world 1959 is well known as “the year the music died.” Buddy Holly and others died in a plane crash. Elvis was inducted into the army. Jerry Lee Lewis saw is career die overnight when he married his teenage cousin. Other disasters rose up to wipe-out the other early rock heros. During that same period, and amidst rock’s apparent demise, a group was formed in Liverpool and the rest is history. We’ve passed “the year publishing died” and are embarked on a scary, thrilling, and wondrous adventure. I have your book in my digital possession and will read it next week. The thrills continue.

  25. #34 by Illise Montoya on July 24, 2013 - 9:57 pm

    Reblogged this on …Prepare to Die. and commented:
    A great post by Kristen Lamb. Brick-and-mortar establishments are losing out to Amazon, and while this doesn’t mean book stores will be gone forever, it does require us writers to think of the future–which IS the internet. At the very least, every writer should have an online presence. I’ve learned a lot in the last two years, but I haven’t been able to fully implement my knowledge for a more rounded approach to blogging, networking, and online promotion. But the evidence seems clear to me that once I’m able to dedicate my time to these things, it will only be to my benefit. I just can’t understand why so many people want to believe in a dying business model…

  26. #35 by pamelacreese on July 24, 2013 - 10:08 pm

    I find this terribly disappointing and discouraging that people out there are still applauding Amazon eating up the market for authors, cheering the loss of our brick and mortar booksellers, and the ‘overthrow’ of traditional publishing as being something deserving of celebration.
    If this ISN’T supposed to be a ‘one-size-fits-all’ market…why is everyone on the side of “yay! we win! epub/self pub rules!”
    How does this embrace ALL authors? What are traditional authors to ‘celebrate’ in this discussion if there is no room at the table for them?

    • #36 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 25, 2013 - 9:19 am

      The brick-and-mortar won’t disappear. It needs reinvention. It can no longer do business the way it always did. And, frankly, the way Barnes & Noble did business was lousy for most authors unless one happened to be a mega-author. New authors will almost NEVER see a front table, meaning spine-out on a shelf and for a limited time only. After that time expired, the covers are ripped off and shipped back to the publishers at a loss (which hurts authors).

      After the mega-outlets devoured the indies, they no longer left shelf space for author backlists. Authors who made a great living in the age of B Dalton and Waldenbooks now were crippled because they could only make money of their latest book (not the twelve other titles). Mega-stores are slaves to metrics. The only way they can offer those steep discounts is to sell A LOT of books and James Patterson sells a lot more than Jane Newbie. J.K. Rowling sells a lot more books than Vonda McIntyre’s backlist (she’s a Nebula Award-Winner who went indie because she was being bankrupted by the mega-store policy).

      Additionally, stores like B&N make far more profit off devices and knick-nacks than books, so why dedicate floor space to new authors or even indie authors when you can sell cutesy notebooks, coffee cups and cards?

      A traditional book-and-mortar store can only hold so many titles and for a finite time. This is NOT good news for the majority of authors. If NY reinvents, it might look into Espresso machines that can print any book on demand while we enjoy our Frappucino in the adjacent Starbucks. This means even traditional authors can enjoy royalties off backlists instead of them being taken out of print (which has been the case for some time).

      And I am not a fan of monopolies. As I mentioned, Amazon being lord of all things books is it’s own basket of worms. And the same people bemoaning the loss of Barnes & Noble forget they had no sympathy for the independent bookstore. Independent bookstores supported authors, stocked backlists and knew the material so they could sell books in our favor.

      I think we will see a resurgence of these smaller bookstores now that the giants are taking a hit. How long can they maintain 30,000 square foot buildings that need air-conditioning, electricity, heating and personnel? AND have one on every corner so that an indie doesn’t dare defy them?

      Times are changing and so are consumer buying habits. Instead of B&N having a MASSIVE store, why not partner with Target? Have a small store inside a big store (like Starbucks has done). Hire people who love books and post them at an Espresso machine or an LED screen. When you buy your new Nook, Kindle or iPad at Target, you get a voucher for a discount on books to load in your new device.

      The bookseller then can guide you how to load books in your device and even recommend titles. If a consumer wants a print version? Boom. Done in 15 minutes. Everyone else is having to streamline and reinvent. Why are mega-bookstores immune?

      • #37 by pamelacreese on July 25, 2013 - 9:41 am

        I supported our local independent bookstores all my life. My friends, traditionally pubbed authors, have booksignings at independent stores as well as bigger bookstores. I didn’t intend to intimate B&N is the ‘answer’ to Amazon. Though Lord knows we NEED an answer and FAST!
        But the joy joy! in seeing the loss of brick and mortar bookstores makes me sad.
        No place left to connect with real life flesh and blood readers. Who has time to pursue little book clubs, as Debbie asked? Many of us don’t want to be lost in the impersonal world of being nothing but an ‘online’ presence with no more to show than an ephemeral book at the whim of Amazon and whoever else joins it in that pond.
        I follow this blog because it gives me hope there is still a future for ALL authors…not just the one side of the publishing venue…but ALL of us. And this left me very disappointed and, as Joe said, tired. I picked up the article with hope that you, in your usual brilliant and upbeat style, would find some measure of hope amidst the tornado of the ‘publishing apocalypse’ (nicely phrased, btw) for the rest of us. It makes me very sad when even YOU can’t find anything hopeful there.

        • #38 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 25, 2013 - 9:54 am

          But I am hopeful. I don’t think the brick-and-mortar will disappear at all. I think the mega-outlet that catered to only a small fraction of authors will. I believe the brick-and-mortar will revinvent just like grocery stores had to when faced with Wal Mart gobbling up the marketplace. Instead of many stores trying to beat Wal Mart on price and bulk sales, they went boutique.

          Central Market offers bands and get-togethers. They stock exotic items and create an experience people are willing to pay for. Many stores now have vast wine selections and wine-tasting and cooking classes.

          A lot of independent bookstores have been able to crawl up out of obscurity and take advantage now that B&N is hurting. They are finding creative ways to attract customers and give them more of an experience. They can no longer rely on “If we shelve it they will come” since the point of sale is now going more and more on-line. Connecting readers with LIVE authors will be one thing we likely will see more of. Who wouldn’t want to meet the author we know and love on Facebook IN PERSON? I’ve had people drive cross-country to meet me because they knew me on-line. I think bookstores will take advantage of this instead of sitting some poor author alone at a table and hoping people will make eye contact.

          I think we are going to see a Renaissance with the bookstore experience, so there is a lot to be hopeful about.

          • #39 by Daniel Escurel Occeno on July 25, 2013 - 3:56 pm

            It might be good for the traditionally published, but the self-publisher and small press will lose the purchasing power of Borders and (if) Barnes and Noble. Wal-mart has books and the purchasing power, but even it has a limited shelf space for the self-publisher. I am glad the entrepreneurs will continue the eVenues for eBooks sold on the Internet.

  27. #40 by donnajeanmcdunn on July 24, 2013 - 11:01 pm

    I can’t thank you enough for such an encouraging blog post and for all the information and advice I have gotten from you over the past couple of years. I no longer feel overwhelmed (most of the time) with everything and just take it one day at a time. My first book has been published and I’m hoping my second will be out there soon as well and now I’m working on #3 & 4. I’m not self published but small publishers require almost as much effort as self publishing does. So thank you so much for leading me in the right direction.

  28. #41 by donnajeanmcdunn on July 24, 2013 - 11:05 pm

    Oh btw, I reblogged this. I hope you don’t mind.

  29. #43 by donnajeanmcdunn on July 24, 2013 - 11:08 pm

    Reblogged this on Donna Jean McDunn and commented:
    This is a great post by Kristen Lamb explaining how traditional publishers, Indies and self publisher are changing and growing together. It’s a new world out there for authors and it’s only getting better.

  30. #44 by Leisl Leighton on July 25, 2013 - 2:44 am

    I am overwhelmed and inspired, Kristen. I’m very new to both publishing and social media, and am realising the world is so much bigger than I ever thought. Lucky I’m a writer of fantasy and paranormal fiction and love exploring new worlds eh?

  31. #45 by Kali Anthony on July 25, 2013 - 5:03 am

    Since I’m just starting out on this author journey caper this news excites me, but also leaves me feeling overwhelmed. The feelings vary daily!

  32. #46 by Jane Butler on July 25, 2013 - 6:27 am

    Thanks for educating me. I need it.

  33. #47 by Brenda Holmes on July 25, 2013 - 6:31 am

    You’re brilliant,goofy,lovable but bloody brilliant!

  34. #48 by Joe Owens on July 25, 2013 - 8:41 am

    Honestly i feel tired. There is so much comparison between this way and that and I just want to write and try to land a deal to get my first book published, I definitely want to be a successful author, but all this just wears me out. I suppose it is an ebb and flow kind of thing, but at the present all of it has flowed out.

    • #49 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 25, 2013 - 9:06 am

      Well, if it’s any consolation, this trend tells me we will see much more streamlining and the process will become increasingly more efficient for authors. We are in a time of upheaval and that’s why I write these posts. It’s changing A LOT and quicker than most of us can keep up. But eventually we will start seeing smoother waters. So just keep writing ;).

  35. #50 by Debbie on July 25, 2013 - 8:51 am

    Very interesting blog, thank you. Two questions come to mind:
    1. Your blog got me thinking about the children’s book section, wherein a parent can read over a dozen in a short time and purchase the one that appeals most. It’s a place where children dig through shelves of books and stop only when a story or set of illustrations intrigue. Will these crop up in play zones? Toy stores? Will we as authors of children’s books be left making the rounds in schools and school boards?
    2. I wonder if bookstores would couple with libraries, and what the lifetime of libraries will be as their budgets purchasing power is diminished? And, will that lead to book signings being coupled with book clubs as we shop our books to individual readers (outside of our online presence)?

    Okay, so more than two questions!

  36. #51 by Jess Witkins on July 25, 2013 - 2:40 pm

    Love all the quotes/articles you linked to! I feel really inspired and positive about the changing industry. Of course there is the part of me that panics when I hear about book stores closing, but I know it will adapt because it has to. At least the smart ones will.

    You know what I’d love to see? A hybrid library/book store/wi-fi network/cafe. I feel like if you put smart people who know how to research in a place full of books (electronic and otherwise) mixed with a coffee shop you’d never get people to leave. I mean add in some different venue rooms and why wouldn’t people book their book clubs there, their study groups, work meetings. It’d have everything with the chill vibe we love about those places. What do ya say, Kristen? LOL Wanna open one with me? We can sell WANA merchandise, host WANA Int’l classes from one of its multi-media classrooms, and hey, we can even campaign for Bayard/Lamb from there if you want!

  37. #52 by giandroid on July 25, 2013 - 3:54 pm

    Excellent post! I’ll definitely be using this as a source… I’m making a post about how I demolished my ability to get my first novel traditionally published. But later this year I’ll be releasing it using my own website, and my own brand, a new cover, etc. Not giving up yet on it.

  38. #53 by Karla Tipton on July 25, 2013 - 4:00 pm

    I find it amazing that so many intelligent authors are in denial about how the publishing landscape is changing away from traditional publishing. I have several writer friends who won’t even consider e-publishing, even to “get their foot in the door.” Although, e-publishing has certainly gone beyond just a platform to get to somewhere else more exalted, as you have pointed out. There are so many opportunities for writers now. I wish more of them would realize it.

  39. #54 by pamelacreese on July 26, 2013 - 12:29 am

    posted to my blog: http://another-wip.livejournal.com/74490.html because no matter how this all shakes out, you always have something worth hearing and sharing.

  40. #55 by Chrstine Ahern on July 28, 2013 - 6:33 pm

    I work in one of those brick and mortar stores. A tiny independent in an equally tiny town on the Central Coast of California. We are a bit of a hub for the community. We do the book tables at the local Writer’s Conference and other community events. B&M stores do still have a purpose if nothing else but for the environment, the education, a sense of community. And yet…my book is only available as an E-book. Because…ya gotta do what ya gotta do!

  41. #56 by Alex Sheridan on August 1, 2013 - 8:03 am

    While I’m really sad to see book stores closing (I just hate it! Only a bookstore has THAT atmosphere, THAT smell), I love what Amazon is doing for writers.

    Thanks for pointing out that Epublishing is allowing the almost-lost writing forms to have another breath of life (poetry, short stories, etc).

    Not only does epubbing give the wanna-be’s a chance to get their writing into the public’s hands–in spite of the old-school gatekeepers–it provides a resource that the global buying market needs and wants. People who live in small rural areas, or have physical ailments that prevent them from going out, can now have access to books on a daily basis. What more could we ask for? And for some reason, waiting for a package to be delivered feels a little bit like Santa Claus coming. :)

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