Women’s Fiction, etc.

An ongoing discussion for readers/writers of Women’s Fiction

Archive for December, 2009

The Future of Publishing

I came across an interesting article on the Writer’s Digest website yesterday about the future of publishing.   Here’s the link:

http://www.idealog.com/blog/the-big-guys-dont-see-the-fundamental-problem

I found it interesting on several levels.  It made me think about the lesson we got in sixth grade about the railroads ignoring the upstart automobile as a threat.  We shook our heads, and wondered how they could have been so shortsighted.  The answer seemed so obvious from my classroom seat.

This article made me see that publishing is in exactly this position right now.  Facinating to recognize this paradigm shift in the middle, instead of armchair quarterbacking it at the end.   You can hardly blame the poor publishers for being caught flat-footed. They’ve been used to being the gatekeepers for what they thought the audience wanted (the equivalent in politics of trying to lead by poll) that they can’t envision anything else.

On to what the shift means, in real terms.  I absolutely agree with the “control of the eyeballs: part.  The information/data available on the internet has exploded so fast in the past years.  As anyone who’s tried to get attention to a blog or website knows, the problem is getting to be garnering attention in a vastly overcrowded marketplace. I feel and see information burnout in consumers who are bombarded at every turn.

Maybe the way forward for Publishers would be to become (like Harlequin has, in my opinion) the “Oprah Bookclub” for niche markets.   Consumers would go to their trusted source for what they were looking for. Like a franchise; you can walk into anywhere in the world, and know what you’re getting by the logo.   I think this would be a value-added service that the consumer would be willing to pay for.

But to a publisher, this must be absolutely paralyzing.  Give up their infrastructure, hard assets and distribution chain for a guess at what is next?  Sure, they’re seeing thier returns diminish rapidly, but to give that up for a guess?  You can hardly blame them for clinging to their rapidly sinking ship…the ocean is huge, dark and cold.  Besides, corporate infrastructure is not geared for change; it’s geared for doing the same thing, over and over, and making money by improving efficiencies.

But will the publishers make the shift?  I don’t think so.  I think they’ll ignore the upstarts, just as the railroads did, and be left behind.  And I think I understand more why now.

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Inspiration for Writers

I’m a quotation junkie.  I think it has something to do with loving the language…and probably a little jelousy of those who manage to get it just right.  Ran accross these the other day:

How does one become a butterfly? You must want to fly so much
that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar. — Trina Paulus—

“The brick walls are there for a reason,” he said. “The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. The brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They are there to stop the other people!  –Randy Pausch–

Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going. –Jim Ryun–

When you come to the end of all the light you know, and it’s time to step into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen: Either you will be given something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly. –Edward Teller–

Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It’s not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; its when you had everything to do, and you’ve done it. –Margaret Thatcher–

Ok, I’m going to take my own advice, get out of the cheerleader skirt, and write something!

The Best Excuse

Ok, I’ve been remiss, I admit it.  I haven’t blogged in forever.  But I have the best excuse – I’ve been writing!  I’ve got all kinds of exciting news on the writing front.

First – Have you heard about the new Women’s Fiction RWA (Romance Writers of America) Chapter?  It’s an online chapter, and it’s amazing.  Check it out at: http://www.rwa-wf.com/

Second – I’ve finished my second novel, and it’s out to agents.  I’ve gotten three requests for full manuscripts so far!  I have high hopes for this one – it’s less dark than my first, and it deals with a subject that not many people know much about (but I hope would be intrigued by) the PBR – that’s Pro Bull Riding to those who don’t know.  No, it’s not a cowboy story.  More on this front soon, I hope.

It’s been an amazing year. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Stop by – I promise to be more prolific!