Surfing the Book Publishing Waves - Jo-Ann Carson

Surfing the Book Publishing Waves

Or drowning in them?
It has never  been easier for a writer to get her work published. And that provides us with a wonderful freedom. The gatekeepers are no longer editors in big New York publishing houses that look at our work as a commodity to sell. The new gatekeepers are readers.
And they are an unpredictable lot.
But I love them. They don’t care if a story fits perfectly into a genre mold. They want a good read.
The problem is readers  are a scarce breed of humans and their numbers are diminishing rapidly. There are so many ways to get stories today. So many ways to be entertained with sound bites. So many ways to spend our time. Many are not reading books.
I’m hoping for a change in tides. It does happen. I remember when JK Rowling released her Harry Potter books. I was teaching twelve-year-olds at the time. The kids loved the books more than the cookies in their lunch bags. Boys and girls who could barely read, worked through book after book one word at a time, because for them it was pure magic. The room went silent when they had a Potter story in their hands. Rowling changed the tide for children’s literature.
We need more ground-breaking authors like JK Rowlings.
The wave of independent-publishing pulls me up so that I can see the sky. But the counter-wave of readers turning away from books drags me to a lee shore and threatens to smash me on the rocks.
Still, I surf, and enjoy the view.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

0 Replies to “Surfing the Book Publishing Waves”

    1. Hi Pat,
      It would be amazing. I just loved watching their faces. It’s so hard to find books for boys that age that interest them. She knocked it out of the park. I’m just glad I got to watch the phenomena. I guess your son must have been about that age.
      Thanks for stopping by Pat.
      Best Wishes

  1. What always amazes me is not how many people have stopped reading longer pieces, but how many still do when there are a thousand other calls on their time and attentions. There is no shortage of readers out there, but perhaps connecting with them, and standing out from the noise, is the new challenge.
    Keep surfing… the waves are unpredictable.

  2. Are readers truly gatekeepers?
    Personally, I don’t think so. Readers are consummers of a finished product, they don’t know (and they don’t need to know) how that product is made. They only care if that product is good and they enjoy it.
    But a writer does care how the product is done, and knowing how’s done, give them the tools to improve and become better writers. This can only be made in a professional environment, and readers are outside this.
    I wonder whether readers are dwindling because professionality is becoming scarser.
    Don’t get me wrong, I do think self-publishing is a wonderful opportunity for everyone, but I don’t think this is the best of time to be a writer (as many seem to think). I actually think this is a terrible time to be a writer, because everybody thinks to be one, and standards are little known and often disregarded.
    I do wonder whether readers get this a lot better than writers do. Unfortunatley, they register the problem, but they can’t give the solution.
    Just my two cents…

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