There has been a plethora of new developments in the publishing industry causing the blogosphere, writers groups, and print media to light up with opinions, reflections, and advice. Some of it has been quite brilliant, other parts, not so much.
I would like to attempt to address the positive elements of traditional (or legacy) publishing as a defense of the latest round of assault.
The source of the overall criticism can be found in the e-book revolution and the invention of print-on-demand (POD) printing. Book Publishing used to be a difficult and expensive proposition but has become a valid do-it-yourself option. Consequently anyone can publish a book, so why be beholden to the major publishers?
Please realize that I understand both sides of the equation. After all I founded ACW Press in 1996 B.G. (“Before Google”) to help authors self-publish (the company was sold quite some time ago). I can effectively argue for the choice to self-publish as well as argue for the choice to pursue traditional publishing. Both have their place.
What has troubled me these past few months has been the vociferous rejection of the traditional publishing method as antiquated, inefficient, top heavy, corporate-driven, and uncaring about author’s financial well-being or their content. A vocal few have declared the “system” broken and walked away, either as a rebel, angry at the “man,” or as a risk-taker believing that going alone is the key to publishing success. Whether their rebellion has merit only time will decide.
Meanwhile over the next few weeks (one per week) I would like to recite the things traditional publishers are doing right. There is no agenda other than creating a conversation and a counter to some of what is being written about our industry.