Writers aim for the ultimate goal with their work: to be published. As with any industry, however, publishing has changed significantly over the years. This means big changes for writers, and the publishing industry in general.
At one time you could just send out a manuscript to every publisher under the sun and wait for one of them to pick your book up. However, with such a huge number of people trying to get published, the process has changed. Now, publishers typically only accept manuscripts from a literary agent. Publishers won’t even look at a manuscript unless it comes through from a literary agent. And literary agents have their own set of rules and regulations for receiving manuscripts.
In addition, literary agents and publishers receive hundreds of manuscripts daily. What this means for authors is that getting published traditionally can take a lot more time and effort now due to industry oversaturation. That’s not to say that what you have to offer isn’t incredible, but sometimes looking for the extraordinary in a sea of ordinary is like searching for a needle in a haystack.
Taking things into your own hands
In addition, publishing is not as elitist as it once was. Now, you can easily use a self-publishing tool, of which there are quite literally hundreds, to publish your book on your own. As a result, publishers no longer hold the monopoly on published content that can make it into the hands of the public.
Publishers’ output is higher than ever. With technological advancements, books are now being released in other formats, like audiobooks and eBooks. As a writer, your content can now reach more people than it ever would have before. People who don’t like to read or who can’t read can now enjoy an audiobook. The technology of the eBook also increased readership, since people with poor eyesight can increase font size and brightness, and it is a good tool for individuals who have motor function problems and can’t hold books or turn pages easily.
Print on demand
Another change in publishing is the concept of print on demand. Previously, books were printed using offset printing. Essentially, thousands of copies of the book would have to be printed in order for the cost to be worth it. This was especially problematic for individuals who chose to self-publish, as they would be forced to pay up front for thousands of copies of a book they didn’t know they would sell. The concept of print on demand improves upon this situation, as it allows for fewer copies to be printed which decreases the upfront costs for independent authors.
A growing industry
Although things are different for writers, and competition is higher than ever, it isn’t all a bad-news story. In fact, there are more books being published traditionally than ever before. The publishing industry is alive and well, and it doesn’t appear that it will be slowing down any time soon.
Are you ready to be published?
Let’s get it done.