Wyoming Arts Council

Tough new world that has such publishers in it

Writers are having a tough time figuring out the new world of publishing. It includes print-on-demand, e-books, z-books, Kindles, social networking and all kinds of wild e-stuff. Michael and Kathleen O’Neal Gear of Thermopolis, authors (together and separately) of more than 40 books, are discovering another byproduct of this electronic age.

This comes from their blog:

Yeah, it’s a tough new world. We heard from a couple of you that COMING OF THE STORM didn’t show up in your local news stand rack. For reasons that we still haven’t been able to ferret out, Simon & Schuster shipped fewer copies than normal of COMING OF THE STORM in paperback. Lots fewer. So please note: If you have been waiting to read the adventures of Black Shell and Pearl Hand as they hunt the foul de Soto, you’ve got order on line, or hit your local bookstore. Wal Mart still has copies, but they will be pulled within the next week or two.

So why is it a “tough new world?”

Bookselling is changing by the moment. In February ebooks made up 2% of the market. In July, they made up 11%. We haven’t heard today’s numbers, but they are growing. Prognosticators expect ebooks to top out at around 35% of the market. So, how many print copies does a publisher print? Not just of a Gear title, but of all the other paperbacks they are releasing that month?

COMING OF THE STORM fell into that chasm of uncertainty.

So, here it is: If you want it, you’d better scramble.

… If you’re a book person, a true bibliophile, welcome to the Tough New World!

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