Sunday 4 May 2008

What is wrong with publishers?

Q: How does a new writer get published?

A: With extreme difficulty.

These days it seems that the publishing industry is lined up against the new writer, bent on stopping them from becoming an author. Which to me seems stupid. What is going to happening to the publishing industry if they don't have new authors?

Traditional publishers seem to have a certain disdain for new writers, giving their preference to established authors that have a proven track record. Understandable, but as a long range strategy, a bit silly. Established authors won't publish indefinitely, and if all the new blood is going elsewhere or giving up entirely, what will they be publishing?

Now new writers can self-publish, which can be expensive and time-consuming, but it is a viable option these days. But even this area is being harassed; by traditional publishers who seem to feel threatened by the competition and now by Amazon/Booksurge who seems to want to exert a Big Brother control over the industry. And the writer is the last person considered, again.

Small press publishing seems to be the best way to go for the new writer, but even here the process is hampered, simply because the publishers are being swamped with submissions. I did a search of dozens of these companies and quite a few are no longer accepting submissions because they simply cannot handle the overload.

So there are writers out there looking for publishers. Will there be a place for them in the future, or will we lose their prose to greed and short-sighted CEO's.

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