In our podcast this week (our first episode of the year!), we started a long discussion on Amazon's Kindle Scout imprint, and it got me thinking: will the landscape of publishing ever "level out"?
I'm not trying to prophecy, here, or prognosticate, or anything of the sort, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the answer is "No." At least not any time soon. As technology continues to change and evolve, and as the business of writing adapts to those technological changes, the process for getting published, the opportunities to get book into the hands of readers, are all going to remain in flux.
It's safe to say that e-books aren't going anywhere, and I applaud the big houses for accepting that and making an effort to integrate that format into their models. Obviously, with e-books, self-publishing will only continue to grow as a segment of the publishing world, especially now that "traditionally" published authors are going out of their way to self-publish books for numerous reasons.
Kindle Scout marks another change in the landscape, in large part because they're taking a hybrid crowd-sourced/traditional-aquasition approach to publishing. As I said in the episode this week, I think it's a great idea. In theory, gets readers involved with new authors without forcing them to buy a book FIRST. It helps readers become part of an audience, building enthusiasm for a new product, and getting them invested. Whether it turns out that way is yet to be seen, but I like the concept, without a doubt.
I think big things are coming for the entire publishing world over the next year, and I'm excited (and a little nervous) to see what those are and how they influence the lives of writers and readers.
Next week, make sure you come back to listen to Part 2 of our Scout discussion, where we approach the topic from a writer's perspective. Then, in February, we'll be back with a long interview featuring author and lawyer, Susan Spann, to dissect the user agreement.