I could almost hear the bagpipes playing a death march as I read through JK Konrath’s predictions about the publishing industry. I would encourage every single indie writer on the planet to read the post. It is his December 28th blog post. To me he hit the nail to the coffin, plunged it into the ground and then covered it up with dirt. If you’ve read my book Publishing and Publicity for smart people and saw the encounters that I have had with publishers, and how I perceive they have crushed dreams of millions of indies then you can imagine me dancing right now in the street after having read his post.
So in addition to the death march what was his take on indie authors? It was plain and simple, up your craft (which goes along with last weeks blog post – Up It), understand the dynamics of nailing your audience, understand the technology and analytical side of the writing business (the purpose of my Rock Star Marketing book), get yourself connected with new waves of indie support which he and others are currently constructing for the benefit of all indies and understanding the process of book visibility.
In my opinion the future of indies is going to be sliced into two distinct categories – stealth and hobbyist. The stealth group are going to become publishers and reap all the benefits that the big 5 publishers have been reaping for ages. This group is going to work the business. They are going to become lifetime learners. They are going to become eternal readers and master their genre or become experts in their non-fiction endeavors. They are going to keep writing and build personal empires. The hobbyists are going to continue to write books and hope to make millions and complain when their books don’t sell. They are not going to invest neither time nor money into up-ing their craft. They are going to become discouraged and stop writing.
My best recommendation for indies this year is to up it and figure out which road you are going to take. My prediction is that the traditional book industry, as we know it will not exist. That will come to pass sooner than later. When I saw the picture of the Barnes and Nobles flagship store closing in New York I could feel the death specter glide a little closer. Just as in the real world death is always occurring and so is life. Babies are born every second of the day all over the planet. Now is the time for the birth of new indies. Let’s collectively hit that learning curve and create the publishing industry of the future.