What’s Changed and What’s Stayed the Same

Rachelle Gardner

Blogger: Rachelle Gardner

I began blogging as an agent in January of 2008, and it’s remarkable to look back over my past posts and notice how much has changed in six years. When I started, I didn’t even have a Kindle. Now my family owns five Kindles plus iPads and various other electronic devices, and I wouldn’t want to do this job without them.

I wrote posts back then about how there was a stigma to self-publishing and I warned writers against it— if they wanted to be taken seriously. Now self-publishing is a normal and accepted option for writers.

I wrote about how e-books were a minuscule percentage of any author’s total books sold.

I was not even on Twitter until a year after I started the blog (January, 2009). Facebook and Twitter were still optional and sort of curiosities.

TransformationWhat else has changed in the book business?

  • The closing of Borders was an epic blow to the industry, many independent bookstores have closed, and pundits frequently discuss the future of Barnes & Noble.
  • Walmart and the big-box stores continued their rise and dominance in non-internet retail.
  • Amazon became the proverbial 600-pound gorilla in book retailing (600-pound gorilla doesn’t even begin to capture it); made it possible for self-published authors to compete with publishers; and began competing directly with publishers by starting to “traditionally” publish themselves.
  • Several small publishers went out of business; even larger publishers are at risk with the bankruptcy filing of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2012.
  • E-books grew substantially in terms of their proportion of overall book sales, and the percentage of people owning e-readers is continuing to rise.
  • The popularity of the  iPad vastly increased the number of people buying e-books. 
  • The price of books became a huge issue as the low cost of self-published e-books and low publisher promotional prices began to affect consumers’ willingness to pay full-price for books.
  • An ideological war broke out between some proponents of self-publishing and those who still advocate for traditional publishing. 
  • Small independent publishers have proliferated, as thousands jump on the bandwagon to help authors publish their books.
  • Writers are expected to use every avenue of social media to promote their own books.

What hasn’t changed?

  • People are still reading books. Despite the proliferation of options for our leisure time, the book still stands strong. 
  • Traditional publishers are still publishing books. They’re tweaking their business models and adjusting the way they do business, but the Big 5 publishers (and many others) are still bringing books to the marketplace, with no plans to stop.
  • Being a writer is the same as it ever was. It’s still hard to write well, and hard to find success in publishing. You still have to spend the time in the chair. You still have to figure out how to balance writing with the rest of your life. You still have writer-insecurities and craving for affirmation. You still have to study the craft and write and write and write to become any good at it.

What other changes have you noticed over the last few years? What else has stayed the same? As a writer, how much does it matter to you?


What’s changed, and what’s stayed the same in publishing? Click to Tweet.

People still read books – and other things that haven’t changed in publishing. Click to Tweet.

10 things that have changed in publishing, and 3 things that haven’t. Click to Tweet.

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  1. It brought a smile to my face to read of all the changes in the past few years. Even reading how your thoughts about self-publishing have changed. Self-publishing is much more “acceptable” now than it was even two or three years ago.

    A couple things that have stayed the same are 1) agents and editors (and presumably publishers) still look for a great voice in a story. The genres may come and go, but a great voice will always be noticed. 2) Though e-readers have become much more common, I still know a lot of people who prefer a hard copy book as opposed to an e-book.

    Thanks for the walk down memory lane, Rachelle. 🙂

    • I’m one of those who prefer hard-copy. I don’t own a Kindle, and probably never will.

      Hard copies are time capsules for me – I generally remember when and where I bought a book (usually I stick the receipt in – that helps). And I’ll use most anything as a bookmark, and some of those bookmarks – boarding passes, ticket stubs, and the like – mark the path of my life.

      Cain’t hardly do THAT with a Kindle!

      • Your jaunt down memory lane made me smile. As a tween, I saved up every penny to buy an entire series of historical fiction that I loved. The bookstore owners got to know me since I came in every few weeks to order the next installments.

        I worked in a used bookstore for five years, and so I understand your comment about creative bookmarks. Amidst the musty smelling pages of the books we readied for the shelves, I found love notes, pictures, dried flowers, and even a few squares of fresh toilet paper. 🙂

      • I once left a couple of hundred-dollar bills in a book to ensure they wouldn’t be stolen by the maid while we were on temporary duty at Los Alamos National Labs. Unfortunately for me, I then forgot that I’d done so, and I went the next six months thinking the maid had stolen my money. Sent her a quiet mental apology when I was packing up to go home over Christmas and two crisp Franklins fell out of that same book.

        At home, though, all my bookmarks migrate to a sheet of toilet paper, mostly because that’s what is available in the location where I do a majority of my pleasure reading. Hey, it’s a quiet spot.

        – TOSK

  2. I was fortunate to discover your blog soon after I started writing, in 2008. You were the first agent I queried, and you sent back a pass, but one that was personalized, and complimentary.

    I never forgot that, and never will. I’m honored to have traveled this far with you, as it were.

    I miss Borders, but they failed at what Barnes and Noble seems to be good at – turning their stores into something like community centers, where people can come to hang out in an open, friendly ‘town square’ built around the cafe. Borders had the cafes, and the comfy chairs…but they were in the wrong place. Corners, near the heads.

    Bad feng shu?

    The changes really don’t affect me. Adaptation to changing circumstances is a part of life, and having to learn social media and marketing specific to Christian fiction is simply part of the game.

    If I were Stephen King I suppose I’d have to learn to drink mai tais on a Caribbean beach. Life is hard for everyone.

    What I would never have foreseen was that while I was an engineering professor in 2008, with an interest in writing…

    …that six years later I’d be a full-time writer with a blog that’s gaining increased attention…

    …on MARRIAGE.

    Proof that God has a sense of humor.

  3. Lisa says:

    I picked up a Kindle in 2008 and have not purchased a print book since, even if, ironically, some e-books are more expensive than the paperback versions. Carrying my entire library on such a small device everywhere I go around the world encourages reading. I also read more quickly and therefore consume more books, which translates into more purchasing. I’m always kind of shocked when I still see people reading paperbacks. But they have become fewer and farther in between.

    • I like hardbacks, myself.

    • Scott says:

      I’ve been reading eBooks since my first Palm Pilot in 1999, but when I got my first Kindle in 2010, I’ve only read one dead tree edition since (Stephen King’s Joyland). I don’t miss paper books – especially hardback books. Too heavy and cumbersome. They take my focus away from the story, and isn’t that what books is all about – the story?

      I’ve also been reading more classics and can read several books in parallel. Right now I’m reading A Feast for Crows by G.R.R. Martin, Moby Dick, and the new bio of Jony Ive. I couldn’t carry all those in my message bag very easily if they were paper. I can also synch the books between my Kindle, iPad Mini and iPhone so I can read in many more places than I could lug a big hardback to.

  4. Jack Vincent says:

    All great info, Rachel. Thanks.

    Great material, maybe today we call it great content, is still the driver.

  5. It’s interesting to see how rapidly the industry has changed in just five years!

    I think the most interesting thing is readers’ mindsets…especially when it comes to willingness to pay for a book now. One author I know had a coworker ask when her book was going to be offered for free so she could download it. It’s as if readers feel entitled to the free versions now. I’m not sure if that’s because the market has been flooded with so many free books or not. I mean, free books are nothing new — the library has always offered that. (And I’m not opposed to libraries at all!)

    I’m not saying getting an occasional free book is bad — I know that’s a whole different topic. I just think it has been interesting to watch how readers’ perspectives have perhaps shifted in this regard. As a reader, I love free books. As an author, it makes me wonder how their prevalence has affected profitability, etc., to both publishers and authors.

    Anyway, one cool change in the industry is how accessible agents and editors are now thanks to social media. It’s pretty incredible that we can interact with all of you Books & Such agents here on a daily basis thanks to this blog. And one of my friends had an editor request through Twitter — and that’s how her debut novel got published!

    In my eyes, there are pros and cons, same as with any other age of publishing. 🙂

    • Lindsay, I agree with you about the accessibility of agents and editors. Add in a few conferences, and meeting in person becomes a reality. Very thankful for these opportunities.

    • Hi, Lindsay!
      Since you’re the first to mention LIBRARIES in your thoughts, my two penn’orth seems appropriate here …
      I have the honour and privilege of living in the Centre of the Known Cultural Universe (Liverpool, UK), pop c 500,000 (growing steadily, according to the latest Census). To this, add a ‘floating population’ of c. 20,000 students at one or other of this great city’s 4 [yes, Manchester, read THAT and weep!!!] UNIVERSITIES and you get some idea of how much there is going on here.
      The downside. Our wonderful(?) caring (??) progressive, forward-thinking (???!*^£$%!!???) London-centric Government is doing everything possible to HINDER Liverpool’s growth, the latest being a £250 MILLION CUT in Central Funding for the region. This represents 52% of the funding the region received last year,
      One of the proposed (and almost certain to be implemented) CUTS forced upon us looks like being the (permanent) CLOSURE of about 30 [75%] of our Public Libraries. For the last 3 years, Liverpool has been made to suffer bigger cuts in national funding than any other city in the UK, and there are simply no more options available. I sometimes think the National Government (irrespective of party ‘colour’) is trying to force this city to file for bankruptcy 🙁

  6. Very interesting post, Rachelle. I like your description of how Being a writer is the same as it ever was.
    I self-published my first novel in 1999 when there was definitely a stigma attached, and my fifth in 2013 when it’s acceptable to be an “indie author”.
    What else has changed in addition to the points you mention? It costs much less for short print runs of paperbacks, and Print on Demand opens up a much wider market.
    What hasn’t changed? For all the free help out there, there are still lots of people aiming to part aspiring authors from their money with over-hyped promises of fame and fortune!

  7. Rachelle, as always, an insightful and helpful post. You mentioned traditional publishers tweaking their business models and adjusting the way they do business. As an agent, have you noticed changes in their approach to rights reversion, royalties, or any of the other things e-published authors continually mention?

  8. Great post–that reflects the years I’ve been writing/submitting/etc. I would say that when I jumped in, blogging was the “new thing.” Every author was advised to blog. Nowadays, there aren’t as many blog readers and not as much push to blog 3x a week or more. I think part of this is the explosion of Pinterest and FB author pages, which allow us to connect in other ways.

    So platforms are now more all-encompassing, and if an author has worked hard in the interim to develop a platform, it makes it easier if said author decides to go the indie route, which is now a MUCH more viable option, and one increasing in recognition. I think the indie revolution is one of the biggest changes I’ve seen…authors taking control of their own platforms/career paths/publication schedules. If you asked me five years ago (or even 2 years ago!) I would’ve said I’d never self-publish. Times have changed, and I’m really thankful for this e-book era.

    • I’m not sure that there’s less blog-reading; if one posts consistently and stays on-platform, readers will remain, and more will come. It’s been working for me, though it did take a while, and I had to learn that the blog wasn’t about what I wanted to say – it was about what my readers wanted to hear me say.

      Blogging does seem to be the best way to build platform, since we’re working with words and ideas. I use FB and am starting to use Pinterest, but they ultimately direct people back to my blog.

      (For those who might be interested and have not yet gotten this far – you can create an ‘intro slide’ for a particular blog post using Powerpoint, and then upload it on Pinterest (saved as a PNG, TIFF, or JPG) and link it to that post’s web address. The beauty of doing it this way is that you can create boards specific to different topics you cover – for example, you can have a board for writing that contains the intro slides for your posts on writing, and one on family, set up the same way. It’s one way to get around the fact that Pinterest does not let you set up sub-boards (boards within boards) at this time.)

      • Oh, yes, I totally recommend HAVING a blog, Andrew. It’s how platforms are built! I just think now authors (esp. fiction authors) have more options to build their platforms around, such as books, etc. I honestly loved blogging (especially interviewing!) but now I’m self-pubbing I barely have time to keep up with it weekly. I do still check in on blogs I enjoy (like this one), but I check far fewer blogs these days than when I started out. And congrats on increased traffic to yours (on the topic of MARRIAGE! YAY!).

  9. I think something that has also changed (somewhat) is the attitudes toward self-published authors. I think there’s still a stigma, but I think as the quality of self-published books has risen and more traditionally published authors are testing the waters, it’s lessened. So I guess this falls into both categories. 🙂

    • I totally agree, Dina…and the ones who jumped in and self-pubbed a few years ago have learned so much they are willing to share with newbie indies like myself. It’s a wonderful, highly-informed community to be part of. Just like this Books/Such community.

  10. Mark me down in the column for the popularity of the iPad. I still don’t own a Kindle, but my Kindle app is overflowing.

    I so much appreciate your comment, Rachelle, that people are still reading. I don’t claim to have any statistics. It could definitely be just wishful thinking. But from what I see in news articles about how children shouldn’t have hand-held devices and studies on the negative impact of video games as well as in my admittedly limited sphere on social media, I wonder if people are reaching their personal tolerance limits in social media and finding again the value of a book. I’m not saying that social media is losing ground. Not at all. But I wonder if the romance of reading is being rekindled as we search for depth and value in our lives.

    • Re-Kindled, Meghan? Good one!

      I’ve noticed a distinct drop in the use of social media by my wife’s large family, and her circle of friends. It seems (from some cryptic comments posted on FB, which is ironic) that they have begun to realize that their friends lead pretty normal lives, and that a lot of the status updates are almost generic. Not a scientific sampling, but perhaps representative (they are from Indiana, after all).

      Kind of like watching reruns.

      Dedicated social media’s a tool – FB is a bit like writing letters, and Twitter’s an enhanced form of text messaging. Pinterest…perhaps an analogue for postcards?

      When I got my first electric drill (I was five, I think), I drilled holes in EVERYTHING, because I loved the novelty (and because I was, well, five).

      The novelty’s long since worn off, and I use the drill to put holes in the ‘right’ things.

      And, occasionally, my own hand, held in the wrong place behind a workpiece. (Hint – when you do this, DO NOT reverse the drill, or you’ll be in worse shape than you can possibly imagine. Back it out s-l-o-w-l-y and without power.)

    • Well, that’s why God gave us two hands. So we can use one as a backing block for drilling.

  11. It’s amazing how so many things can change SO fast. I was always the last to do everything–get a Facebook page, get on Twitter, start a blog, get an iPad…Now I can’t imagine NOT having those things!

    I know I will ALWAYS prefer having a book in my hand to reading an eBook, though. The one thing I did get when it first came out was a nook, and I only read on it a year before I went back to hard copies.

  12. . . . If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.

    –Toni Morrison

  13. Another thing that’s changed is the breadth of stories available. With ebooks allowing greater variety of size without affecting the printing costs, I see shorter books, longer books, serials, and adjuncts to series. Veronica Roth sells scenes from her Divergent series done in an alternate point of view. Ninety-nine cents for 16-30 pages. I’ve also seen some fiction authors trade in the social media time for “kicking out content” by providing the “extra” short fiction so readers can continually be immersed in a favorite author’s stories rather than their personal lives. It makes sense to build your fiction brand by writing fiction, more so (I think) than by writing blogs. I think we will see more of this in the future. Indie authors will tell you, content drives content. Of course, you need to make sure the content is quality enough to drive TO rather the FROM your next work, but the regular flow of content is key.

    • Connie, your comment about building ‘your fiction brand by writing fiction’ intrigued me. Blogging on NF topics isn’t irrelevant, but I need to get better at building and sharing snippets of historical fiction since that’s what I write. Have you personally seen authors do this well? If so, please share.

      • Jenni,
        Yes, there are lots of authors who are dabbling in in-between stories to their series. It keeps the readers hooked on the series and the author’s name on their minds. I’ve also seen authors with a first novel they keep at free (or very cheap) to drive readers to the others in the series–stories that are strongly hinted at in the first.
        With Historical, I’ve always felt these authors should target the homeschooling crowd and offer things that could be added to a student’s curriculum to help them understand a time period better. That’s how I got hooked on history–seeing how it impacted lives!

    • These extra “shorts” also provide a way for new readers to sample your work. I’m fortunate to have a publisher who supported me when I wanted to do this for an existing series. It’s an interesting tool – one of many in the writer’s proverbial toolbox.

    • The blogging bit is a very valid point. I’ve read several blogs about writing by writers who write that writers shouldn’t be blogging about writing but should instead be writing.

      Yeah, I had to read that a couple of times, too, but it’s correct. 🙂

      All that said, I enjoy, myself, the free-form nature of my blog. It’s not necessarily drawing the crowd in to my fiction as it should, granted. At some point I’ll have to make a business decision about that, granted also.

      Anyway–as for the kicking out smaller content part, yeah. That worked like a charm for Jasinda Wilder, along, of course, with other promotional activities. Other authorpreneurs are using the shorter fiction to their advantage, too. That’s another stick I need to get on, whatever that happens to mean. 🙂

  14. Some things haven’t changed. The traditionally published author still has a big advantage over indie authors from Day One because their books are sent directly to multiple brick and mortar stores. Today’s indie author had better know their social media tools and be willing to be their own publicist, propagandist and flag-waver. I’m fourteen months in and I’ve secured some strong endorsements and reviews for my first novel. A major voice talent is eager to narrate the audiobook, so I’m doing a crowdfunding campaign this month to pay her. I’m not complaining about these multiple roles: I’m new to this and have never known different. I do know that no major publisher would have put as much time and energy on a new author’s novel as me, myself and I. Before logging on at mid-day, I’ve managed to write a second novel — a 200,000-word manuscript. I only wish I had the time to morph into Indie Editor Guy, to tackle the revisions!

  15. Well written, and I agree with pretty much everything you wrote. One thing struck me in your latter paragraphs, though, when you mentioned the Big 5 still publishing as they ever have. I remember getting into writing and reading your blog regularly in the early months of 2011, and back then I heard about the Big 6. “Who’re they?” I asked, and I learned, and the MBA in me started examining the playing field and the players on it.

    Anyway, it’s interesting that just a few years later, the Big 6 is now the Big 5. Oh, and the big evil box bookstores that we so loved to hate as we watched Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks bicker over big vs. small, well, they’re now our beloved friends we’re so desperately hoping to save against the big evil online store. Funny, how the world changes.

    And yet, as you said, the core of the industry remains the same: readers read, and writers write.

    I note all that with open-eyed wonder directed toward the future and no real irons in that fire.

    Thanks as always for continuing to give us your insights!

    – TOSK

  16. My first book was published in 2010 – a mere 3 years ago. Books 9 and 10 release this month and it’s AMAZING the difference in marketing from our publisher’s pov. Where did book trailers go? Ha! And while I sell more books now than I did then, my first book with Harper Collins was given a book tour … I don’t see THAT happening again.

    The only thing constant is change.
    Best to hang on for the ride.

  17. Denise Willson says:

    Great list, Rachelle. I love how, for every door that closes, another opens. We live in a world of technological advancement and opportunity. How wonderful!

    Denise Willson
    Author of A Keeper’s Truth, (and now) GOT

  18. elisa says:

    I appreciate your re-cap, as I’ve witnessed it from the sidelines and jumped right in as well. I started blogging in 2006 and toyed with the idea of pursuing traditional publishing until I read more on what would be involved. I choose to self-publish “Impact My Life” and 25,000 plus downloads later, I’m happy with the result.

    Much to my surprise, I found myself in the traditional publishing track last spring, with an agent and a proposal adventure, and experienced the roller-coaster of “love it…but” refusals from publishers.

    I may throw my hat in the ring again at another time, but for this season, I’m about to launch another self-published project — a study for teen girls and will see where that goes.

    There’s pros and cons to both self-published and traditionally published. I appreciate you pointing out the changes and also what’s stayed the same!


  19. I believe that the heart of the writer has remained unchanged – we still want the e-mail or call from an agent or traditional publishing house that says, “Hey, let’s talk”. In the time during submissions, queries, and waiting, there is the option of self-publishing. Self-publishing as a major change in the writing industry has in and of itself changed. It can be used as a platform builder like the coffee shops and back street pubs that musicians frequent night after night hoping to make a name for themselves or be discovered. It may seem a little shady to parts of the world, but to the artists, it’s a road that can be taken in order to build that following until that awaited day when the call does come. I’m totally speaking as one who had to push down my pride and realize that self-publishing was a good place start. Maybe the pride welled up because I had once heard that I wouldn’t be taken seriously, or maybe it’s because I am old fashioned at heart and was holding on to tradition. So now we have the hybrid – the self published author who is still seeking traditional publishing. Won’t it be interesting to revisit this topic in ten years?

  20. Roxanne Sherwood Gray says:

    Rachelle, What an informative post of all the changes in publishing in only six years. It will be interesting to see what publishing looks like six years from now. I’m thankful for your faith that people will continue to read books. I hope that proves true.

    My son and I have a constant debate (and somewhat heated on my part) over fan fiction. He especially likes stories using JK Rowling’s Harry Potter characters. I believe it’s piracy. He a big “fan” and thinks it’s great that he can read for free online. Although he reads more than his peers, I think he’s typical among high school and college students in wanting free entertainment online. I don’t know if this generation will support the big 5 publishers. My son sights the popularity of “Wool” as a path for success. I hope the ever-increasing presence of cheap/free e-books will not crowd out the market for traditional, royalty-paying publishers.

    • Mir says:

      It’s not piracy; it’s more homage. It’s “we love your story world so much, we must have more and more of it.” I’ve read some dreadful fan fic and some fan fic so well-written that I assumed the persons writing it might be pros (or soon to be) who are fans. When a show or novel series is done, the fan fiction keeps the characters alive in new adventures, canonical or not. 🙂 I would be highly flattered if I created a world that fans then wanted to run with in new ways because they really cannot get enough of those “people” and worlds.

      And the cheap books are a boon to readers and their budgets. More books for fewer bucks. I, who used to pay 25 bucks for hardcovers or 14 for paperbacks now won’t pay more than 8 or 9 bucks for a book unless it’s a top 5 author of mine. I wait for the price to come down, especially since it’s the publisher, not the author, making most of the moolah from the ebooks. I don’t have space in my home for more books–I have thousands–so ebooks are a lifesaver–and space-saver. 😀 I tend to shop for books in the 2 to 6 dollar range. Above that, I need to really be grabbed by something in the sample or have many friends offering word-of-mouth praises. And I need a lot of selling for a price above $10.00, unless it’s a text or reference work or is loaded with images.

      I used to spend thousands a year in local bookstores. I rarely step foot in a bookstore these days…and I own 5 ereaders, four of them Kindles. I don’t see the trend favorable to pricey hardcovers and paperbacks.

      I’ll add that with my aging eyes and incipient cataracts, ereaders with built-in lights and adjustable font size are a huge help. 😀 No extra cost for “large print.”

      If trad pubs wanna survive, they’re gonna have to adapt, innovate, and be forward-thinking–and more author-friendly. WAY more author-friendly with much better contracts and fewer rights grabs. All it takes is for some visionary in trad pub to break away from the pack with some fabulous new ways and ideas to breathe new life there. I’d be excited to see what sprouts in this new environment.

  21. Marcy McKay says:

    You touched on this, but what first came to mind is that in the past few years writers have more POWER & CHOICES that ever before re: how they want to be published and that’s FANTASTIC!

  22. Susan says:

    It’s beautiful to know some things haven’t changed with books, I love books.

  23. Sue Harrison says:

    An excellent article, Rachelle!

    I love my ereader, and I do buy most of my novels as ebooks, but my research library continues to grow, and usually I buy research books in traditional paper format, and mark and tab and beat the heck out of them, bless their hearts! (If books have hearts,and sometimes I think they do.) At first the changes frightened me, but now I realize that the current market opens so many possibilities,and I’m grateful for the options.

    Thank you so much, Rachelle, for continuing to guide and advise!

  24. Peter DeHaan says:

    With change comes opportunity!

  25. A quick aside – just noticed I managed to misspell my NAME in an earlier post (having a ‘rant’ about Libraries).
    Recap: due to SAVAGE Government cuts, Liverpool (pop. c. 500,000 +/- 30,000 ‘floating population’ of students at one of our FOUR Universities) is almost certainly going to have to close about 30 [75%] of our Public Libraries in the coming year.It’s easy to believe the Government WANTS to create a generation of mindless robots who will obey without question every edict they decide to impose … Am I wrong to think of the ‘auto-da-fé’ bookburnings carried out by the Spanish Inquisition??

  26. Something worth noting is the shift in importance away from the writer as craftsman to the writer as technician. Success stories abound about self-published authors, and most of these writers are capable. But that’s not the key to their success–lots of poor writers are succeeding as well. Either successful writers enjoy the support of technicians and social media wizkids, or are themselves adept in these fields. Necessarily, the skills are strongly related to generational factors: young people are growing up with high tech/social media, and are able to use it with ease. But without this knowledge or easy access to it, the good or even very good writer is not likely to get far. Commercial publishers now require the writers they take on to have developed tech “platforms.” All this can be thought of in Darwinian terms: the young prevail, the old go to the wall. But it should be said that none of it has much to do with writing itself.

  27. James T. (Stew) Stewart says:


    I too “mark, tab and beat the heck” out of my books. In fact, I may go a bit overboard. I sometimes tear down corners and fold them out to leave a little stub sticking out.

    Sometimes I will draw in pencil a small “>” on the edge of the outside pages to point to a certain page with a small line on a particular page where the point in the “>” points.

    I once loaned a new book I’d just bought to a friend and she chewed me out because I’d simply folded down a couple of page corners!

    I told her I considered a book to be a useful tool, intended to be kept and used, cherished, perhaps, but not kept pristine, locked in a safe, handled only with kid gloves.

  28. Chris Carter says:

    I am so excited I found you and your wisdom with all this publishing business. What a BLESSING! I first set out to publish, and realized that self publishing an ebook was completely the way to go. Although my first book was a ‘practice run’, I do feel empowered that this niche is growing and when the time is right- I will publish again on such ‘fertile ground’.

    I dream of a publishing and actual paper book though. I still want to hold the books and turn the pages… I will ALWAYS purchase the ‘real ones’ and my bookshelves will forever grow.

  29. The question I want to ask is not, “How has the industry changed?” but, “What are the next changes?” I have an idea along those lines that I’ll discuss with you over our next manuscript meeting.