Wednesday, May 30, 2012

YA Author Anna Banks discusses the publishing world of tomorrow


Recently, TWFT asked Anna Banks, author of the recently-released OF POSEIDON, to write about how she envisions the publishing world of tomorrow. Here’s what she said.

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To get a good idea of where the future of publishing is going, let’s examine some facts:

Fact #1 Ebooks are here to stay. (Until the zombie apocalypse, that is. Then we’ll all have to read print books, because our e-readers will eventually run out of juice).

Fact#2 Ebooks have hurt the sales of print books. (Though to what extent we can’t be sure because perhaps you’ve noticed we’re also in the belly button of a crappy economy).

Fact#3 It is relatively easy to self publish an Ebook. Hence, there are a lot—a lot—of self published Ebooks out there. (Insert your opinion about that here).

Now, you might think you know where I’m going with this, but you’re probably wrong. If you think I’m against Ebooks or self publishing or the zombie apocalypse, you’re so very adorably mistaken.
Repeat after me: Ebooks are not the devil. Not even self published ones.
Before I got an agent and a book contract, I was a snob about self publishing. I told myself that I would never do it, that if my work wasn’t good enough to get picked up by a traditional house, then it simply was not good enough.

The truth is, I would self publish. Please note that my debut novel, OF POSEIDON, has been picked up by one of the “big six” publishing houses, Macmillan. They’re even sending me on book tour this summer. I have a rock star agent. A publicist, even. All the doors appear to be open to me, right?  So why would I, an author who has already “made it”, consider self publishing?

After going through the publishing process, I’ve changed my mind. Here’s why:

Let’s say I have an idea for a book that I lurve (right now, this is hypothetical, but it could very well happen at some point), or that I’ve already written this book that I lurve. Let’s say my editor doesn’t like it. OR let’s say a bunch of editors like it, but they want changes I’m not willing to make. (This happens all the time, BTW. Usually the author and editor will compromise, but sometimes their vision for the book is too far apart to come to an agreement.) Do I drop the book, this idea that I love and work on something we can all agree on?

Not necessarily. That is, not unless I absolutely want to earn an advance and have the marketing handled for me and the cover designed for me and a book trailer made for me and a tea party with lemon crumpets in my honor (├čI made this last part up). And just for the record, I *do* want all these things. These things are ideal. These things are nice. These things are fancerous.

But what if I still feel very strongly about my own vision for the book? Will I format it and slap it on Amazon first chance I get, then tweet the snot out of it until I’ve irritated all my followers?

Some might. Some do. Okay, a lot do. That’s where the Ebook gets its horns and pitchfork, I’m afraid. But not me. Nope, I’m hiring a freelance editor who will clean it up, critique it, and send it back to me all purdy. Then I get to worry about marketing and covers and book trailers and tea parties with lemon crumpets. Is it worth the trouble and money to do all this? That of course, depends on how you feel about your book. If I loved it enough though, I would do it.

Does that mean I’ve declared the traditional publishing industry an enemy? Am I a traitor? Does it mean I’ll stop writing books for my agent to submit to editors? Does it mean I’m no longer a legitimate writer?
Heck to the no. It means I love a story enough to breathe life into it at my own expense. And what’s wrong with that? I’m investing in myself. Period. Plenty of traditionally published authors are open to self pubbing. Plenty are opposed. All have fans.

Here is my question to you: As a reader, would you refuse to read a self published work by your favorite author? Why or why not? Would you take a chance on an unknown self published author?
Because your answers, my friends, are precisely what determine where the future of the publishing industry is heading.

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Thanks, Anna! If you want to read more of her writing, you can visit her blog. You can also buy her book here.

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Linda

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