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The Reality of Traditional Book Publishing

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The reality of traditional book publishing these days is a jumbled-up, confusing mess. I don’t mean to sound disrespectful, but when best-selling authors are taking back ownership of their own publishing rights and going the self-publishing route that many information marketers take, you know the industry is in a serious disarray.

Two major publishers, Penguin Books and Random House, appear to be merging soon. This merger will result in the largest traditional publisher, and one that will have a HUGE competitive advantage. Book industry consultant, Mike Shatzkin has been quoted as saying, ““I ultimately think we’ll see that general trade publishing is going to consolidate into a single entity over the next ten years. I think you need to figure out how to work in a niche.”

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The Reality of Traditional Book Publishing

Niche publishers abound, but it’s the distribution channels that really interrupt the flow of books to their buyers. Since book stores are suffering and closing because most people buy books online now, there is tremendous confusion about where and how to sell traditionally published books, even if you are an established author.

And where does that leave authors who are just now getting started with their writing and publishing careers? It leaves us all in the same place, really, which is doing our own marketing. We have to build a following and develop our own distribution channels in order to sell tangible books now, whether they are traditionally or self-published. None of us can assume that books will fly off the shelves at bookstores. That just doesn’t happen as much as it did in the past, ‘way back before the internet.

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