Why Literary Agents and Publishers Won’t Have A Job Soon

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I found this story from CNET a helpful explainer on the whole e-book pricing saga going on right now in the publishing industry.

Here’s the bad news: In a few more years (or maybe even sooner), authors large and small, new and old, are going to wake up and realize they don’t need anyone in the publishing industry anymore.

Popular authors with huge followings no longer need outside marketing/PR clout or help with distribution channels – they’re audience is already built in, and (literally) anyone can now write, upload and sell a book on his or her own. Print books are nearly dead - e-reader sales of products like Kindle and iPad are soaring along with e-book purchases. And why wouldn’t they? Imagine literally carrying hundreds of books in the palm of your hand, having the ability to highlight, bookmark, take notes in the margins, increase or decrease the font size, read in the dark … the advantages of e-readers go on and on.

So if you’re a big author, why not just write the book, publish it yourself (it is literally as easy as cutting and pasting text into Apple’s iBooks Author or importing a PDF file), upload it to the iBookstore and set your own price, keeping 100 percent of the author royalties for yourself? Or use CreateSpace or another free site to create and upload a Kindle-friendly version of your new book?

For new authors, there’s literally no cost (other than time) for you to engage with people on social media, build a following, write a book, copy and paste it into iBooks Author on a Macintosh and then sell it for whatever price you want.

You build your audience. You write the book. You upload the book. You sell the book. You keep all the profits.

The entry barrier to becoming a published author has never been easier. In fact, it can’t get any easier.

That’s great news – unless your still working as a Literary Agent or Publisher.

About John Nemo

John Nemo is a former Associated Press reporter, Award-Winning PR Director and Social Media Consultant who helps brands, businesses and individuals leverage LinkedIn to generate sales leads, add new clients and increase revenue. He is also CEO of Nemo Media Group, a Minneapolis-based marketing agency. Learn more about John at www.LinkedInRiches.com

Posted on April 12, 2012, in Books and Publishing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I’m torn about this whole thing. It’s definitely the way things are going, but . . .

    I’m concerned about the quality of what people put out there. It’ll be great for authors who already have the recognition, but if the publishing industry as it is goes away, it’ll be much harder for new writers who actually have talent to get noticed – people will be too busy doing the job of the editorial assistants who spend their days weeding through the slush pile. And pretty soon, “Facebook English” could be considered acceptable for books (I will cry the day that happens). Though it’s great news for writers, I’m not sure it’s great news for readers who appreciate high-quality writing.

    On the other hand, it will make it easier for writers publishers tend to shy away from to have their voices heard. But what’s more important? Self-expression and recognition or quality? Is one more important than the other?

    What do you think?

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