Blog Chain: Changes in Publishing

 The blog chain is back after a summer hiatus. And we have new members. Of course I'm late with a post. Sorry chain gang!

Sandra has this round's question. Visit new blog chain member Katrina who made a post before me. And the ever lovable Eric posted after.

Have the recent changes in the publishing industry affected your writing plans/career? If so, how?

Recent changes? Hmm... do you mean the sudden push toward self-publishing? That the author themselves are taking more responsibilities with their books, such as coming up with the book/page format, cover art and all those other things on the road to a self-published book ready to market?

Or do you mean the changing of the industry itself. The news that some agents aren't sticking with the traditional route and have considered digital formatting as the new wave of publishing?

Are we talking about the close of brick-and-mortar stores? Borders caused a serious ripple in the industry. More than most of us realize.

I can honestly say the current news for the first two topics hasn't had a major impact on me. I've been so caught up with work and raising my daughter that the publishing world skims over my consciousness while my mind stores the interesting tidbits to digest later... much later. After a chat with Facebook friend, Tracy Hickman (no relation) who is a best-selling fantasy/SF author (Dragonlance), he said something that will stick with me concerning all and any changes that may happen.

"Don't seek to be published. Seek to be read."

So that is my general feeling concerning the changes. I'll still write. I'll still seek to be published. I'll still seek to learn and improve and do well in my endeavors so long as I never give up on my writing dream. I'll learn to adapt to whatever happens in the industry.


I can tell you that the closing of Borders has had a big impact in my area. I know of ONE bookstore in the immediate vicinity -- a little independent place across from my bank. Not having brick-and-mortar stores can impact the writer in ways we fear to imagine. It means less readers who may glance over and spot the interesting cover on the shelf. A cover that may have a positive effect for them to walk over, pick up that book, and read it. Purchase it. We need brick-and-mortar stores. We need them if, for nothing else, to get our fat lazy butts outside to get some exercise walking along the aisles!!!

Sorry this post is so scattered. Lots of article writing on my mind, Jaq is ready for my nap, just got a new tv and ordered cable, and a million other things going on that would make a even more horrendous run-on sentence than the one you just read.

Anyway, those are my thoughts about the state of affairs with the publishing industry. Check out the other posts from my fellow blog chain gang.


  1. Great post, Michelle. You hit it on the head (or rather Tracy did) that we should seek to be read. That's a great way to look at it.

  2. I'm with you on supporting brick and mortar stores, though I think it's difficult to do. The small bookstores in my area do a really poor job of reaching local customers. I think they should make more use of facebook advertising + fan pages to make people aware of their author events, sales, etc. People are still reading. They're just being reached in different ways (mostly online).

    And I like that idea of having the goal to be read. For me, that's still likely going to be a traditional publishing route since I can't imagine my little blog will help me reach a wide readership. But for those enterprising enough to reach readers without the established system, all these changes are great news!

    Thanks for these insights, Michelle!

  3. I also like the idea of seeking to be read. It's interesting to think of self-publishing in terms of trying to be read. On one hand, you're likely to reach fewer readers than you would with a traditional publisher. However, if big publishers chase books that they think will be best-sellers and ignore the niche markets, they ignore those readers too.

    Good luck with whatever road you choose to travel!

  4. You ask the good questions, Michelle. I think they are all relevant and are definitely intertwined. The publishing industry is changing faster than ever!

  5. "Don't seek to be published. Seek to be read." - Love it!!

    I'm also very saddened by the closing of Borders. I think there might be an independent bookstore about 20 mins from me, but it won't be a place I can get to often or easily. As a writer and an avid reader, bookstores were my happy place. The demise of Borders makes me very nervous for the future of brick and mortar stores.

  6. I'm so sad about Borders and I didn't even have one near me anymore to lose. Love the quote! Great post! :)

  7. That is a fantastic quote. And so true. Publishing is just the means to the end. Great post!


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