“My fondest wish when I was growing up was to work in books.” Lorraine Ash
If there’s a Renaissance woman and writer around, it’s Lorraine Ash. Journalist, author, ghost writer, book coach and publisher, Lorraine does it all. It’s always an information-packed event when The Write Group hosts Lorraine at a workshop. Highlights from a recent session offering an update on the publishing industry:
On writing: “Storytelling is the richest thing you can do. It’s food for human beings.”
On the writer’s role in traditional publishing: “The writer is valued, but not in the same way….In the book world, the writer has become something of a commodity…. Publishers want fully made products: fully developed, polished, and done, and they want you to have a platform.”
On “indie” publishing: “Now we’re in this new world of independence …. The indie world has a lot of power … and the individual has power. It’s a collaborative world and very vibrant.”
On readers: “No matter what’s happening behind the scenes, people still want stories – and they want full stories….We have to respect the sophistication of readers….Word of mouth: At the end of the day, that’s the only thing that sells books.”
Key takeaways: All the lines between traditional, indie, and self-publishing are “disintegrating.” The lines between forms of distribution are also blurring: Self-published authors can get their books in airports and you can find small presses with large distribution capabilities. Traditional publishers are now offering “hybrid” publishing arrangements new types of contracts in which they offer large-scale distribution and higher royalty rates in return for authors “investing” funds upfront to offset the costs of book production and distribution. Or they are offloading book production onto writers in return for more desirable royalty arrangements.
The bottom line: It’s a brave new publishing world out there! As authors, we potentially have both more independence and more responsibility. And buyer, beware! Navigating the indie and publishing worlds can be tricky and as technology advances, indie publishing is becoming more complex and challenging.
For more advice and writing/publishing support, visit: lorraineash.com/services.htm
Bravo, Lorraine! And now, insired and informed, let’s all write on!