Monday, January 13, 2014

What's Different?

Last week I mentioned that social media was changing for writers and I realized that I've now been doing this long enough to see several changes in the industry. Let's take a look:

  • Format
    • When I started writing, ebooks were just emerging as major competition. There was a lot of controversy over whether paper books would survive. I think we all know now that ebooks are in fact a big deal and that it's a GOOD thing. That ebooks have made reading easier and "cooler" for many so that reaching new readers is possible. It also saves trees! I still have stacks of paper books everywhere you look, but I LOVE/ADORE/ENJOY my Kindle Paperwhite. 
    • Who would win the ebook wars? Kindle? Nook? Kobe? Would Amazon destroy traditional publishing? We see that there are still issues and there's still debate, but I think we can safely say that for now traditional publishing is still alive and Amazon (and others) grow as well. it's a win win in my glass-half-full eyes. More books! More books! How can that ever be bad?
  • Submissions
    • When I started (am I dating myself?) about half the time I still had to go to the post office with manilla envelopes and SASEs. If you don't know what that stands for, congratulations! Email is soooo much easier and I believe most editors and agents agree. 
  • Trends
    • I guess this is obvious. I mean trends change, right? That's why they're TRENDS. ;D I've seen vampires become taboo, and expect that before long they will make a reappearance. Dystopians, etc. It's been interesting to see. Does it change what I write? Yes and no. I don't write to trends. I write what I love. BUT I stay aware of what's out there. It's important. 
  • Social Interaction
    • Yes, I already spoke about social media. But I want to point out again how lonely writing used to be! SCBWI and other great organizations have given us opportunities to be with others in our "tribe" for years. But I for one think it's AMAZING how many friends I've made online. Real friends. And the extent to which I connect with people on a day to day basis. Which brings me to...
  • Quality
    • I believe we've gotten better as a group. I think all the availability of information at our fingertips has opened a world of learning, practice, and craft to us as writers that didn't exist before. Between informational blogposts and critiquing, etc. the quality of what I've seen (and I imagine agents and editors) has risen. There have always been fabulous writers. But now there are just that many more out there. Again - not a bad thing! MORE BOOKS!! Of good quality. 
What about you? What have you seen change since you started? And what's next?


  1. I do not miss SASE at all! Kind of forgot about it, actually. You've mentioned some great observations and made some great points. The biggest - more books, more reading is ALWAYS a good thing! Agreed.

  2. More books and access to them is never a bad thing. I do hope paper books never die. I LOVE having hardcover copies of my favorites just to stare at (and re-read). The staring-at part isn't possible with ebooks. :-)

  3. I am glad for all the changes you mention. I think it's great that authors are now having so many more options for getting published. Like Barbara, I do hope print books don't die. I still like them and many people still don't read e-books. I did a poll last year on one of my blog hop giveaways and was surprised to discover this.

    Another change is that blogging isn't dying but people are definitely cutting back.

  4. Funny, I just filled out a SASE for a literary magazine and was thinking about what an anachronism it is...but maybe not quite since we're still doing it.

  5. I've definitely seen the emphasis on blogging come and go. I've seen authors sign with agents, get book deals, lose agent, self publish, do nothing. This career path isn't easy and no matter how we go about it - it's hard work!! I do enjoy the technology and email!

    I read mostly ebooks and print books from my library. I rarely purchase them anymore. I've got too many stacks!!

  6. Totally agree with this!! Having books available in more formats is just awesome! I've got kids reading on e-readers, ipods and laptops as well as with 'real' books during independent reading time. It's fabulous!

  7. I welcome all of these changes! I'm so thankful to be a writer in 2014 :)

  8. I'll always love having an ebook in one hand and a print book in the other. SASE - RIP.