Monday, October 29, 2012

Mergers and Markets

The big news this morning in publishing circles is the consolidation of Random House and Penguin. It appears book publishing has started going through the same merger process that other industries have faced. There seems to be speculation about the mergers of other book publishers too. It appears you have to be very big like Amazon or very small. Although size does not appear to be a factor. Amazon just posted a loss for Q3.

And this raises questions in my head. How can any small press survive? How does someone like me, who is just about to have his first book reached, make any sales -- or enough sales -- to keep going? Or are the large publishers essentially dinosaurs waiting for the meteor to strike the planet?

And what does this mean for the available markets to which writers submit their work? Sure, there will be few places to submit work but for someone like me, a newcomer, those markets were already closed. If there is one less of them, I don't think it matters, at least not now.

For me, and people like me, who are trying to establish themselves, build an audience, and acquire a reputation, the markets are small presses and magazines will to read and accept stories from unknown writers. They solely judge the work because it is the story and its ability to be sold that matters. For magazines, the story has to fit what they are looking for too. For publishers of small presses that not as much a concern.

Some years from now, perhaps, I'll be able to turn my attention to a large publisher or perhaps they will seek me out. But that's very hypothetical and I've learned not to try to guess the future or make plans too far in advance because life throws curve balls that not even Babe Ruth could hit.

So I will continue writing the best stories I can and preparing for the release of my first novel. I will seek the guidance of my publisher for things that I am unsure of and wait to see how the book sells. That alone will determine my future in this industry.

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