Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Economic Crisis and You

I just read this post on the Dystel & Goderich Lit Agency blog. It's kind of scary. "[I]f editors and publishers keep trying to build front lists with 'big' books at the expense of their backlists, then when this publishing economic downturn is over, there will be no backlist in the pipeline."

As someone with the realistic goal of becoming a midlist writer, and the willingness to claw my way up and then hang on tightly, like a kitten climbing up a curtain, this scares the willies out of me. It's hard enough to kickstart a writing career without all this stupid economic crisis stuff everywhere. *sulks*

10 comments:

Catherine J Gardner said...

Sigh.

K.C. Shaw said...

Yeah.

word verification: misho. Sounds like a kind of sushi.

Jamie Eyberg said...

I honestly see the small presses leading the way in this economic downturn. They have a far more loyal, albeit smaller, base and with a smaller production run they can create a kind of cult following for their writers. Look at what Braumbeck and Keene have done (while Braumbeck is the superior writer) they both have a cult following and tend to sell out their limited production runs fairly quickly. It creates a demand for these authors that most big house writers can't achieve.

Sorry to ramble, just a thought and an opinion.

K.C. Shaw said...

I actually agree with you wholeheartedly. The more people jump onto the ereading bandwagon, the more small presses will do well, too. I just wish there were more decent small presses that like fantasy--for some reason, fantasy is way under-represented, which makes it hard for me as a reader to find small-press stuff I like. Which is frankly a weird situation. I mean, fantasy is hardly unpopular.

Now I'm the one rambling.

Aaron Polson said...

I agree with Jamie. There's a good amount of news about positive sales for small press books--they're beating the big houses in sales growth.

K.C. Shaw said...

I'm not surprised, really. Small publishers usually don't pay advances (or only very small ones) and they don't have the massive infrastructure the big guys do. They're also used to running things on a shoestring. If the distribution/returns problem gets sorted, a lot of small presses will really take off fast, I think. Or maybe they already are.

Jeremy Kelly said...

I already said this in Aaron's post today - I really think that this means more opportunity for those of us trying to break in to the business. Sure its scary now, but who knows what could happen?

K.C. Shaw said...

There are definitely worse places to be than with a good small press.

*stares at Mundania pointedly and looks at calendar*

Carrie Harris said...

Whatever happens, people will always buy books (or ebooks or whatever the future holds for publishing... little robots that spout of Shakespeare, I dunno). I just keep telling myself that.

You know, so I don't panic. :)

K.C. Shaw said...

Well, I'm sure still buying a lot of books. Sometimes I suspect I am singlehandedly keeping the publishing industry afloat.