Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Wishing for the good old writing days--or not

Last week, Thomas Nelson Publishers announced they will no longer participate in two major two major trade shows: Book Expo America (BEA) or the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS).
Michael S. Hyatt, the president and CEO of Thomas Nelson, explained the change was because the current economic downturn forced them "to re-evaluate every marketing dollar we spend. This is not the reason for our shift in strategy, but it is the catalyst. The reality is that these trade shows provide very little return to us on a hugely significant investment."
So, instead of attending BEA or ICRS (what used to be known as CBA), Thomas Nelson hosted their own "Open House," a conference attended by their top 100 Christian retail accounts.
The question is: Will other publishing houses follow Thomas Nelson's lead?
Next question: Is this a change for better or worse in the publishing world?
Whichever it is, there's no denying the world of writers is changing.
Sometimes I find myself wishing for the good old days. And then I realize that's a waste of my time. I am a writer living and writing in 2008. That means I need to know how to make my way along the writing road--whatever that looks like--in 2008. There's no use wishing things were different, except for the sake of nostalgia.
I live in a world where writers need agents. I live in a world where most magazines take e-queries--but then again, some still want an old-fashioned SASE (Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope.) Since I've been writing, the Writers Market has morphed from 1 volume to 5. I have friends who have jumped on the POD (Publish on Demand) bandwagon--and others who have let it pass them by, thank you very much. In my writing world, I can find a critique group just down the street in Scoti's house or online. I can subscribe to too many writers magazines and become a conference junkie, thanks to all the choices I have. Writers need blogs and Web sites and platforms. And I can think about podcasting my book on late in life motherhood or devising a YouTube video to hype it. People can sneak a peek inside my book on Amazon or read it on a Kindle.
That's the writing life in 2008--take it or leave it.
I'll take it--and try to keep up with all the changes.
Forgive me if I get a bit nostalgic every once in a while.

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