In the past few years, I’ve noticed several kinds of organizations entering the ebook arena. Most notable are the handful of book agents who have opened publishing companies.
This is one of those indicators of how large the shift is in traditional publishing these days. When agents, and some of the nation’s top agents at that, are shifting where they spend their time, nearly anything can happen.
Keep this in mind as you consider whether to approach traditional publishers, self-publish through print and/or ebooks, or do both at once. These days, it pays to play your cards across a wide spectrum.
Writers know that they have to help readers suspend their disbelief. It’s also critical that viewers watching a film do the same. This interview comes from the corporate world but if you read it with your author’s eye, you’ll find some great advice.
–Present your story in their context. That is, connect with readers where they are, not from your lofty position as all-seeing author. Use concrete details to evoke emotions, paint images and usher readers into the fictional world.
–Be curious. Ask questions. What if the plot twists here? Why does this character act that way? Where does this one plot point happen? When in his life does the major turning point come? How can the character grow, change, develop?
–Weaknesses are irrelevant. Focus more on your strengths. That doesn’t mean ignore the weaknesses; just don’t get so hung up on them you forget your strengths.
In 2011, the most recent numbers available, there were 347,178 printed books published in the United States. That was up 6 percent from the previous year, according to Bowker, which provides book industry statistics and trends.
For those of you in the book-planning phase, it may be helpful to know which categories saw an increase in publications. They were education, up 20 percent; music, and psychology and philosophy, both up 14 percent; religion, up 12 percent; juvenile, biographies, and business, all up 11 percent; and fiction, up 13 percent.
Those are just the numbers for printed books. E-books are harder to gauge, but they’re a large and growing share of the market. For those I could find only sales numbers. For 2011 they were $1.1 billion to $1.97 billion, according to two different counts.