It's been a quiet day home with the Minibeast. I have my wip mapped out so I can complete it tonight and do a final read through. Just gotta wait until the sun goes down and Mini goes to bed.
Needless to say, I've had books and writing on the brain for most of the day. First thing out of bed this morning, I started off reading about the fallout going on at Haughton Mifflin Harcourt (best chronicled over at GalleyCat) through Pub Rants. Jobs are being/have been cut at HMH, and at the worst possible time of the year, if you ask me. I'm not sure what to think about this alleged on/off freeze? in acquisitions, which now seems to be just a fancy way of saying: We're about to become super selective about what we take.
Reading about that kind of thing makes me wonder about the future of publishing - and I'm talking about the nuts and bolts of the industry and acquisitions, not about the future of writers so much, because there will always be writers regardless of what publishing houses exist or the state of the book market and/or economy.
People who write, well....they write. And if they sell that's fantastic, but more often than not, when they don't they just pick up the next project and move on. Round two, try again. Then again, we've also come to an age where writers are more willing to take chances about where they publish and go with "non-traditional" publishers. It's also perfectly acceptable to epublish and/or go the POD route. I'm not in any way implying that people don't want to be traditionally print published - I certainly do - I'm only saying that there are more options now than ever for unpublished writers if NY won't take on their work.
Anyway, this morning I was reading Editorial Ass about Random House having it's own meltdown of sorts. Random House is dismantling Bantam Dell *faint* and Doubleday, and absorbing these imprints into other divisions - Knopf will be absorbing Doubleday, etc.
Ok, just for the sake of thinking out loud, here is finally something that makes me sweat a little. What does this sort of restructuring mean for the unpublished writer? Certainly, it will become much more difficult for unpublished authors to attain the NY dream with publishing houses going through a big shrink phase. And while I wholeheartedly cringe at the idea of anything happening to Bantam Dell (I've bought an insane number of their books over the years), I'm curious about Doubleday.
The only books I've ever read from Alfred A. Knopf were literary stories that stretched into the realm of commercial fiction. In fact, most of them had Anne Rice's name on the covers, and I didn't go out and buy every single one. Literary fiction is great, and I'm not in any way taking a crack at those who write it or read it. I don't question the talent or the drive behind it, and I acknowledge that it wins lots of awards, blows critics socks off, and more often than not makes for beautiful book deals. However, it also Puts.Me.To.Sleep. There, I said it. Snoozeville. Just my take on it : literary fiction is editors fiction. Critics fiction. I don't read it unless I have to.
My question with all this restructuring going on is how many slots for commercial fiction will NY publishers slash during reorganization? Because I think this is only the start of a broader domino effect. I can't imagine publishers turning away a literary gem with award winning potential or a stellar non-fiction book, for a cozy mystery or a scorching hot romance. When the dust settles, I honestly wonder what all this will means for romance, urban fantasy, horror, etc. as far as trends go?
I also wonder if slower acquisitions in NY will drive more readers as well as writers to epublishing? I know there are some people who think that will never happen, but it was the main reason I got hooked on ebooks - lack of variety. I couldn't find what I was looking for on bookstore shelves. But I digress.... It just seems to me these dips in the pond are going to cause more ripples than we realize. I suppose we'll just have to wait and see.