This morning, I was doing some blog hopping, looking for inspiration for today's blog and I decided to pay a visit to one of my fave reviewer's blogs, Dear Author. Just before Christmas, one of the bloggers sparked a conversation about epublishing. I wasn't surprised by the majority of the opinions shared in the comments. I've heard the same things before: epublishing is becoming too narrowly focused, and readers want more than kink/menage/vampires. Oh, and that all the good authors are trading up for NY houses, leaving the smaller publishers who gave them their start.
Like every other industry, particularly those I would label as "entertainment" industries, I view publishing as a fluid entity. Epublishing/tree publishing, they will both be in a constant state of change. Trends come and go. Readers' demands evolve. So people who hypothesize that change is on the horizon will always be right.
But as far as the rest, where epublishing is headed, that's all speculation.
Epublishing authors either write what sells in their medium (which currently tends toward the racier side of erotic romance/erotica) or what they love to write (but has too limited a market to sell to a larger house). Because epublishers tend to turn books around faster (in some cases, MUCH faster) than traditional publishers, they are able to respond to the demands of their customers. As a result, I would be shocked to hear that any established epublisher would fail to produce books the majority of their readers want to buy. There may be a lag of a few months, but certainly not years.
Why the long explanation? I have to believe that what is currently being published is representative of what the epublishing houses' customers are buying. Kink. M/M. Menage. Publishers can only respond to customers who talk with their wallets. Sadly, the more mainstream romance reader has yet to respond to epublishing (in a financial respect). Until historical romances, for example, sell in greater quantity in ebook, you'll find very few historical romances being written and/or published by epublishers. It's a question of supply and demand. The economics of art.
Whipping out my crystal ball now, I see epublishing continuing to evolve and grow over the next decade. It's a great market for both upcoming talent and NY midlist authors who need to generate income from their writing. Great books will continue to be available to readers who are looking for them. Epublishers that are able to carve out a niche and generate income for their stable of authors will grow. Those that cannot will fail. Slowly, the ebook readership will grow and eventually the narrow focus of epublishing will broaden as ebooks become more mainstream. But I imagine that's years off yet. Until technology produces a cheap and yet functional and aesthetically pleasing ebook reader, and our technology-friendly kids become book buying adults, the market's going to be steered by the small, yet loyal, population of ebook buyers.
Anyone else have an opinion? What are your thoughts? What do you see in your crystal ball?
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Go Ahead, Share Your Thoughts! .