May 16th to the 22nd: “Imagine you’re invited to give a two-minute ‘state of industry’ speech to ITW members. What would you say?”

Imagine you’re invited to give a two-minute “state of industry” speech to ITW members. What would you say?

This week literary agents Janet Reid, Nicholas Croce and Kristin Lindstrom discuss what they would say to ITW Members. It’s the can’t-miss discussion we’re all dying to hear!

Janet Reid is a literary agent at FinePrint Literary Management specializing in compelling fiction, particularly crime fiction, and narrative non-fiction.  She’s always on the lookout for fabulous projects. Her publishing background includes fifteen years in book publicity with clients both famous and infamous. In her spare hours she drinks scotch and stalks Jack Reacher.

Kristin Lindstrom established Lindstrom Literary Management in 1993 and represents a range of fiction and nonfiction clients. She works closely with writers to prepare manuscripts and proposals for the scrutiny they will receive at a publishing house, and pulls upon a total of 30 years of experience as a literary agent, editor and marketing and advertising consultant.

Nicholas Croce is a literary agent and President of The Croce Agency, which specializes in representing authors of commercial fiction. Before founding the agency, he worked at John Wiley & Sons, Rosen Publishing and Croce Publishing. Nicholas has degrees in Creative Writing and Journalism from the University of New Mexico and a Certification in Book Publishing from the New York University Center for Publishing.

  1. The publishing industry today is in transition, due both to the hangover of the 2008 recession and the dramatic impact of the ebook and other new technologies. This has created both terrific opportunities and roadblocks to authors seeking to get published.

    The electronic book and print-on-demand publishing were first introduced quite a few years ago. But it is only recently that these technologies became financially viable. In fact, the industry was caught by surprise by how rapidly the ebook, in particular, has taken off in the last couple of years.

    It is very difficult to place a new author today; publishers are looking for writers with big platforms through which to sell more books. The mid-list is in decline as they aim for bestsellers, leaving fewer slots for new writers.

    At the same time, the ebook and POD books are finally putting affordable self-publishing on the map. If an author has no luck finding a berth with a mainstream publisher, he or she can produce a product that looks professional and backed with a marketing plan, can see decent sales.

    It will be interesting to see how it all shakes out as the industry adjusts to changing dynamics.

  2. In my opinion, there’s never been a more exciting time in publishing with more opportunities for authors. E-books are revolutionizing the publishing model in ways that will likely make books more profitable for everyone involved, from writer to retailer.

    If print phases out, publishers will no longer need to be saddled with capital-intensive printing, warehousing, consignment terms and returns. These cost savings could not only pass on to authors but also enable publishers to take greater risks on unproven authors. Also, with less capital requirements than print, e-books provide upstart publishers with a lower barrier to entry, so authors will see a flood of niche publishers to choose from in the coming years.

    However, it’s going to be tougher for authors to stand out with a likely rise in self-published titles. Authors will need to be more marketing- and promotion-savvy than ever.

    1. As much as I love having my books come out in print and seeing them on the shelves in the bookstore, I know it’s only temporary. I also understand that print is a grossly inefficient system. My publisher took my first title out of print – presumably because of warehousing costs and space issues. My self-published electronic version, however, has no such limitations. And just this week, Time Magazine published an article on my thriller’s topic (melting icebergs into drinking water) – proving that the topic is still of interest. Thanks to the e-version, my out-of-print title is available for anyone who wants to read about a water-producing scheme that goes horribly wrong. 🙂

  3. Remember that old Chinese Curse about living in interesting times? Welcome to interesting times. There’s a revolution in publishing right now as the “value-adders” figure out how to exploit all the new ways to deliver content to readers.

    What hasn’t changed, and what I want to emphasize now, is that the need and demand for storytelling is as old as humankind. HOW we tell those stories, and how we find our audience is in flux, but our need for good storytellers is stronger than ever.

    It’s easy to get freaked out by the velocity of change but you shouldn’t. Focus on what you control: your writing, and how much you read. Do both of those well, and you’ll be fine.

  4. “It’s easy to get freaked out by the velocity of change but you shouldn’t. Focus on what you control: your writing, and how much you read. Do both of those well, and you’ll be fine.”

    Thanks for this!

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