But my enthusiasm for what’s coming up for publishing is particularly hopeful, even more so than my chance of say, taking a real vacation, finding a stable man, finding a stable new age author…yet I digress.
Here’s what I’m hoping for for 2013.
For publishers: A spine. Yes, thousands of books get pitched to us every year, and without a doubt the powers that be are picking the most salacious, most controversial (trying not to bring up Shades), and I think most of us can agree on this. But I refuse to believe all the classics are behind us, that literature is dead. Publishers still have access to amazing books, but they’re unwilling to get behind them for the sake of passing up an easy payday. I want publishers to re-introduce readers to literature in 2013.
For authors: One way, first class tickets back to reality. I want authors to make a point to try and understand the industry charged with making or breaking them. I don’t want to see any more writers misled by fantasies of being the next big thing, they need to be willing to focus on the baby steps, take pride in the small victories, and match the blood, sweat and tears they claim their books deserve from those of us trying to promote them.
For book marketers: Stronger ethics. Can we put away the smoke and mirrors and focus on the realities of today’s market? We need to respect authors, and our trade, enough to stop fueling the bestseller fantasy in order to make a quick buck. Breaking through the clutter is getting harder and harder with the rise in self-publishing, but there are still ways to make an author successful in their own right. It’s called hard work and dedication.
For retailers: Renewed focus on experience. Digital books and eReaders aren’t going anywhere, but there’s one thing online shopping can’t buy you – atmosphere. It’s still like pulling teeth to book author events at stores, why? Are they too busy? I don’t think so. And why can’t bookstores play nice with digital content? The Espresso Book Machine is now popping up across the country and the Harvard Bookstore reported double digit sales growth over the past year. If you build the experience, buyers will come. I don’t want to see any more bookstores roll over and die.
For readers: A little more fight. Support quality books and authors by doing your research. There are some amazing bloggers and reviewers out there that couldn’t care less about a book’s publisher, because they’re focused on reading and reviewing quality books in all genres. And why? For the love of reading and learning. Imagine that! If readers demand a broader, higher quality range of books, publishers will have to follow suit.
We all know that we’ll continue to see changes, no matter what, but each of us can play a role in making them positive.