From Sarah, With Joy

*Poet * Author * Wanderluster*

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Dealing with Change in 2014

January 2nd. Kinda the day when life starts going back to normal, isn't it? January's always been the most depressing month to me, except maybe for February, but its good to get back in the swing of things.

I already talked a bit about goals and resolutions last time, but I want to sort of continue in that vein. There has been a lot of talk around the blogosphere the last week or so about the potential changes coming in the publishing industry in 2014. Chip MacGregor, Jo Konrath and Dean Wesley Smith have all put in their predictions and thoughts for what they think is likely to happen to publishing in the coming year.

There are a few common thoughts going around. Many are predicting some major changes for Barnes and Noble, though opinions on what and how those changes might be vary widely. There is a lot of talk about publishing house mergers and more ebook content in libraries and more brick-and-mortar support for indie-books. These things all seem to make sense to me, from my very n00b perspective. I can see it happening, and happily so. (Happily if the changes at Barnes and Noble are productive ones, not destructive).

It's all really interesting to read and think about, and I enjoy it. I hope to be increasingly informed about the publishing industry and the trends and changes happening in it. I am most definitely in favor of being aware of new developments and taking advantage of every possible opportunity as authors.

But I guess my two cents would be this: I think we tend to look at these oncoming changes as traumatic and life-changing, when really, I think our day-to-day lives and duties as writers don't really change at all. In short, we don't need to worry. The one thing we writers need to worry about is and always will be to write, and write a lot, and write as well as we can. The changes in all the rest will come, but they don't need to be disruptive.

I believe this because success as a writer comes through endurance plus a dash of luck, not through clever trickery and manipulation of some kind of fancy system. It's really a very simple process. We write the most and best we can and put it in front of as many people as we can. And we keep doing that. Keeping ourselves updated and aware of all the latest developments and changes will hopefully make things a bit easier for us, but we never need to be afraid that we're missing some kind of magic switch to instant fame and glory. That doesn't happen. It's an endurance race, and taking advantage of everything that comes along just helps us on the way.

It comes down to--always has and always will--telling a good story. Yes, being business-savvy helps. We're all trying to do the best we can in every area. But if we tell good stories, I think we'll be okay.

Sarah Allen


  1. so right in what we can control in the process....we write, we get better in how we tell a story...we put it out there...and with a little luck we are found....we network and never know who we might meet along the way that might help us along...

    hope the new year is good to you

  2. I think it's doubly hard to work the system at the moment as the system is constantly changing. Far better to get on with the writing part of thing.

    Moody Writing

  3. I should probably catch up with what's going on in the industry. I feel like I might panic and over react, but you're right, no matter what it's our job to just keep on writing for readers.

  4. It's really interesting seeing the differences in how things unfold for the industry in other countries.

    In Ireland, it's really Amazon that indie authors depend on most of all, rather than smaller bookstores. Bookstores here are incredibly selective in their stock. Few independent stores still exist, and even fewer will take chances on a book that hasn't come from a major Irish or UK publisher.

  5. Productive vs destructive. Now there is the key. Hoping B&N thinks this through. But still we must write, as you point out. No rest for the writer...and no magic wand.


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