Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Brave New (Publishing) World
After a little summer break the blog chain is back (and better than ever with several new members - check the links in my sidebar to see the new line-up) and Sandra decided to start things up with a question that looks at the business side of writing.
Have the recent changes in the publishing industry affected your writing plans/career? If so, how?
So here's the thing, if you've read my last few posts here (Quick recap for those not interested in scrolling: found an agent, book sold to HarperTeen) then you might have guessed that for me personally, well I'm currently feeling pretty good about the publishing industry and my place in it.
However, that doesn't mean I'm just gonna sit back and say, "I cannot let my artistic brain be bothered with all this business side of things" because that would be kind of stupid, and generally I try to avoid being kind of stupid.
With the rise of e-books, the growing numbers of people choosing self-publishing, and Borders going under - the publishing industry is definitely in flux right now. Nothing is certain, and that's kind of scary. But let's face it, in life nothing is ever certain.
Five years ago had I had just moved to Knoxville with my husband, and I was having a really hard time finding a job. Being a book-lover I decided to apply at my local Borders store. They called me in to interview for a position in their cafe. Three managers interviewed me for this position that paid minimum wage plus tips, and during the interview one of the questions they asked was, "Where did you see yourself in five years?"
I don't have the best poker face, so they probably caught a hint of my inner-thoughts of, "Seriously? You're kidding, right?" Eventually I think I bs'd something or other about wanting a job where I could continuously grow and learn.
I didn't get the job, and now that there no longer is a Borders I can say that it was probably for the best. But I still have to wonder what my interviewers would've said if they'd been given the five year question. Did they see themselves at Borders? Did they have the slightest inkling that it would end up sinking faster than the Titanic?
I'm guessing they didn't. How could they have, and how can anyone else really know where the next five or ten or fifteen years will take us?
This doesn't mean we can't have goals, or make plans, because we can and we should. My goal was to find an agent and get published. And now that I've reached those goals, I'm setting new ones for myself. Maybe the changes in publishing will make some of those goals easier to reach, maybe it will make them harder - only time will tell. But in the meantime, I'm gonna continue working towards them no matter what next week's headlines may read.
All right that's enough from me. To continue following along with the blog chain check out Matt's blog before mine and directly Katrina after.
I'm also posting today over at Pots 'n Pens so make sure to head over there for a little chicken soup for the writer's soul.