I went to a delightful panel on Monday, given by the Association of Author Representatives, about how apps/ebooks/enhanced ebooks
/unicorns are affecting how agents do their job. It was the first talk on the subject in about a year that actually delved into some meat--what are the new possibilities, and how do agents and publishers work to best develop them.
But there was still a lot of
blood spilt time spent talking in terms of "The Old Ways." The way publishing has always worked, where contracts are king and the product, first and foremost, is always a printed book. News flash, people, we're going to have to change the way we think about everything about books. In fact, if we haven't already, we're behind the curve.
The truth is that this shouldn't be a terrifying landscape anymore. The interwebz have been around for 20 years! Ebooks have been
stalking us developing for 10. Publishing has to stop lamenting the ways that these developments will change the old business models and realize that they already have. Now it's just a matter of imagining what's possible given the technologies (and their incredible availability). That's a lot more intimidating than adhering to boilerplate contract language.
This will be the first in a series exploring the obstacles and possibilities that agents and authors face on the front-end of the publishing process. How do we prepare and package a book before we even go to sell it to a publisher? What are the pitfalls?
A series making you not this. >>
It's not scary, and it's not going to ruin publishing. In the next few posts, I'm going to talk about why I'm not crazy for saying so.