The Pros and Cons of Digital Publishing

Gerry LaFemina

One of the ongoing themes in the variety of AWP Conference panels that focused on the future of publishing this year had to do with the role of technology in the marketing of books, and how much of that marketing must be done by the writers themselves.  Time and again agents, publishers, and editors emphasized the symbiotic technological relationship between publisher and author. Synced Facebook and Twitter campaigns, the use of Goodreads as a forum to cultivate readership, book/author websites and blogs all play into promoting a book.

How the Publishing World Acclimated to the Digital Revolution (Part 1)

Gerry LaFemina

Like the record industry before it, the publishing industry is changing dramatically.  Of the Big Seven publishers (Random House, HarperCollins, MacMillan, Penguin, Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group (Little, Brown & Co, et al), and Scholastic), six of them–all but Scholastic– have proven to be too big to change their business strategy in a rapidly changing marketplace. The culprit was a combination of the predatory sales practices of online retailers (particularly Amazon.com) and changes in the media (MP3s in the case of the music industry; ebooks in the case of the book industry).

Are Printed Books Now Extinct in the Digital Age? Not Yet

Emma Mincks

Book lovers around the country are wondering what will happen to their favorite bookstores as the increase in digital publishing and the closure of brick and mortar book monoliths like Borders signifies. When Borders announced its closing last year, NPR published an article questioning how much longer the “bookstore experience” might last, and what the store’s closure might mean for other bookstores. Many have speculated that independent bookstores will thrive, while others project a gloomy end for anyone associated with the book business. 

Despite Growing Trend, Publishing Experts Still Frown Upon Self-Published Books

Gerry LaFemina

The recent rash of self-publishing success stories capture the spirit of the American Dream, in which anybody can be successful with entrepreneurship and a good idea – rags-to-riches stories in which the little guy, forgotten by corporate publishers succeeds on his own skill and perseverance. The response from other writers and publishers is often disdain toward self-published and vanity press books.

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