So, you want to publish a book, huh?

Taking a small break this morning from my usual blah blah blahing about the Bible and such, this post about the present (and future) of book publishing might be of interest to you.

This post appeared on the Creative Trust Literary Group website a few months ago, which is the agency I signed on with last year to help me in my quest to dominate the universe with my thoughts on God, Jesus, and the Bible. They suggested I dial down my goals a bit to something more doable and less stupid, but I signed on with them anyway.

One of the mains points of the essay, which is no secret, is the impact of  “the rapid rise of social media and digital distribution and the slow demise of traditional advertising and brick and mortar retail.”  For those of us who want to write and publish books, getting a handle on these changes is huge.

  • http://jesuswithoutbaggage.wordpress.com/ jesuswithoutbaggage

    Helpful site. Thanks for the lead!

  • http://www.tillhecomes.org/ Jeremy Myers

    Yep, and blogging is one of the central and most basic pillars of this shift in publishing.

  • Susan_G1

    Peter,

    I am concerned with the effect self-publishing will have (or has had) on the quality/veracity of books. I don’t mean to offend self-publishers, so please forgive me if I do; know that it is out of not knowing better.

    I can see where self-publishing gives one freedom, more control, more income from the book. But what about editing, fact-checking, etc.?

    • labreuer

      One way to get at the fact- and model-checking problem is to blog first about the critical chunks, after you’ve gotten a sufficiently diverse following so that they’re likely to catch the worst flaws.

  • Bev Mitchell

    Susan,

    I share your concern, and add another – especially with respect to matters of Christian faith and practice – large number of very good books already published (paper or silicon) that are virtually ignored or passed over far too quickly while we rush to the next one that just came out. I realize how important it is to have things said in many different ways so that all may hear, but it’s getting close to ridiculous. However, we need to find a way to live and thrive in the flood (of good, middlin’ and bad) because it’s not going away. Sometimes too, writing is as much about the author getting his/her ideas organized than anything else. Easy publication of that effort is new, of course, but unstoppable.

    This leads to the main point of how to deal with unedited/unreviewed material. It would be good if prospective authors would run their stuff by respected people in the field, and publish endorsements – but this is largely a pipe dream. More practically, readers have to unite and share their thoughts on books (new and old). That’s why communities like Pete’s blog are so important. Belonging to a fairly broad, fair minded group of people willing to share the best of what they have found in Christian writing has become essential , and is relatively easy to do. For example, a rather impressive reading list could be put together just from what Pete and his commenters have mentioned in the past six months. Following a few good blogs just for the bibliographic references and reading half of the finds would be more than a full time job.

  • ctrace

    One problem with the breakdown of the traditional model is a lack of good editing and spell checking, but I’ve thought that the internet could be put to use for, well, at least proof-reading. Crowd-source it. Get volunteers to proofread just one page of a new book, and maybe have another check that person’s work. Could be done in a day. A whole book. Or less than a day. Publishers could develop their own volunteers, they could get rated (for competence as they go along). If they had just 1000 drones who would just proofread one page a week even it would be effective. Methinks. (And this is already probably being done since last century for all I know, but it doesn’t show so much in new releases it seems.)


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