Friday, July 29, 2011

So Many Thoughts

I was going to write a post about this photo that I saw while reading Nathan Bransford's blog.  It was going to be about how in the world you could possibly have a panel about the future of YA without including a single YA author of the male variety.  Maybe I'll write that post one day.  Or maybe I'll just shake my head and move on because I'm tired of talking about it.

But then I read this post by Courtney Milan about the role of agents, about how some are turning to publishing and how it's creating a huge conflict of interest.  You should go read it.

I think next week I'm going to put together my views on publishing and agents and the where I see myself and others like me in this new world.  I know a lot of people are certain that self-publishing is going to kill traditional publishing, but the same people thought YouTube was going to kill traditional TV.  Hint:  it hasn't.  Traditional TV is doing a good enough job of killing itself (Did you SEE that proposed Wonder Woman reboot?).

I left my agent back in June and I've been spending a lot of time thinking about how to proceed.  So yeah, check back Monday and I'll post something intelligible about all this.  Until then, have a great weekend.


  1. Sounds like you're at a crossroads. Whatever you decide to do though, I'm sure it'll be the right path for you to take. As for the other subjects, I hope you do post a discussion. I always enjoy your thought-provoking posts.

  2. Wow. Both links were fascinating.

  3. I'm sure your post will be excellent, but it's the "I left my agent" post that I'm really excited to read.

  4. Eric - I think all publishing is at a crossroads. It's a strange time to be an author. But thank you :)

    Cole - Courtney's posts were so thought provoking. She put it way better than I ever could have.

    Paul - That's probably the least interesting part of everything. My agent was great, we just ended up having some different ideas about books.

  5. Thanks for clarifying, Shaun. I've always heard good things, so I couldn't help but wonder if things changed with the signing of more clients.

  6. I've been thinking about you, Shaun. This is a difficult industry to navigate, with or without an agent. I do not think that self-publishing will kill traditional publishing, nor do I think e-books will kill print books. To me, it's very similar to indie music v. mainstream and digital music v. CDs. All are still consumed, but it's the percentages of each that will vary over time.

  7. Paul - No prob. Chris is a great guy and a great agent.

    Sarah - I agree with you. I don't think publishing is dead or that books will go away. I think what will happen is that paper books will become niche, e-books will be the norm, and that the marketplace will expand to include talented indie artists who might not have had a shot under the old model.

    Amanda Palmer is a musician who exemplifies the paradigm shift in music. She's a talented artist who markets and plays directly for her fans. She doesn't need the middlemen. And with all the advances in computer tech and distribution methods, she doesn't need the backing of big record companies.

    This model won't work for everyone. But I think 20 years ago, instead of being a fairly well-known artist, she would have either signed to a major label and been miserable or given up. I think books will follow a similar model.


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