After studying the different ways that the marketing and publishing industries have changed, even in the last few years, I would say that I am more encouraged about the future than discouraged.
That is not to say that my level of discouragement has not also grown. After all, it is much harder for an author to get noticed these days– with hundred of books coming out every day, one needs a very stable platform to get anywhere, it seems. This is rather discouraging as well, since even more people are hoping to build a platform online, and even this could take years to accomplish. The idea of the “writer in solitude” is gone. Writers have to juggle so many hats that it seems a wonder some have time to write at all.
So, how is all that balanced out? For one, that very proliferation and easy Internet access that is making new, good authors more competitive and numerous is also allowing them to be noticed at all. In fact, the current system is much better than before, where one had to get lucky enough to be noticed by a large publishing company. So what if being a successful writing is still a lot of work? To risk being very cliche, everything worth doing is a lot of work. We shouldn’t be tempted to put in less because we only need to click a few buttons to reach our audiences. Instead, we should shoulder the responsibility of that bigger audience and make sure that our work is better and more polished than ever before.
In conclusion, publishing is as alive as ever. It’s taken a slight hit in credibility, yes, but that’s been by design. More negative books are allowed to slip through the cracks, but so are more good books than ever before. We need to familiarize ourselves with the seismic changes in how writing is published so that we can harness these benefits to their greatest capacity.