Sunday, 2 December 2012

Adapt and survive

There has been much recent publicity around the future of book shops and the impact of eBooks on writing, publishing and book selling. 

A friend said to me: “Writers who don't adapt to the changing environment won't survive as professional writers. If the bookshops go, the publishing houses may go. No more advances or royalty cheques, however small.”

When you indie publish, you don’t get an advance on your work.  You pay up front, either the capital costs of producing print copies of your work (not insubstantial) or the smaller costs of publishing directly to a digital format.

What if there were no more hard copies?  What if tree books became obsolete?  I don’t see this happening in the near future, though who knows where and how we will be in fifty or a hundred years’ time. 

Of course, if books were only available as e-readers, they would only be available to people with a computer/e-reader and an internet connection, which would exclude people who don’t have access to these. So it actually removes choice for many and divides and marginalises.  It only widens options when those choices are available for everyone.  

As a writer, one needs to keep on top of the constantly developing changes and developments in the world of publishing – adapt and survive. 


  1. I totally agree! Who knows where the publishing industry will be in 5 years time!


  2. Hi Vikki - sometimes I feel positive about the future for books and writers, others I feel more pessimistic...