Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Changing Face of the Industry

Believe it or not, there are people who think writing is easy. They honestly think that they can sit down and dash off a children's book and everyone will be amazed and captivated by their brilliance. As a result, the mountainous slush pile grows daily.

Those of us who hit the "delete" button more often than "save", are well aware of the havoc such fools have created on the industry of late. Because of their stupidity, writers who agonize over every word and struggle to "measure up" to their mentors are forced to wait, while frustrated editors sift through the garbage that's been piling up since the affordability of the home pc.

In my opinion, it's as much to blame for the current state of publishing as the failing economy. Don't even get me started on the recent boom in the self publishing market and e-publishing! Self publishing used to be about intelligent people with ambition and a can-do attitude. Occasionally it still is. Once in a blue moon, excellent manuscripts are self published. But more often than not, it's cheap and all about ego.

The industry has changed, and serious writers must adapt.

Years ago, publishers focused on finding brilliant, and well written manuscripts. Today it's equaled by the search for writers with the ability to build connections, self promote, mentor others and speak in public forums.

We must fearlessly force ourselves to keep up with rapidly expanding technology, and rise above the swell of acceptable mediocrity, refusing to give up while facing extinction.

Disappointment in the current trend can knock an excellent writer off track. It's getting increasingly harder to keep up, and the odds against success are staggering. So what's a writer to do?

I think we all need to take a step back and admit that what got us here in the first place was the challenge. Although it is mightier, it is still doable. This is proven by the excellent writers who are finding their way onto bookstore shelves, despite everything. For those who find pleasure in beating the odds, the game is still on.

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