It seems like every time I blink, the publishing industry changes. Just recently, Amazon began stripping authors of reviews left by acquaintances or writers with the same publishing house. I’m not sure how to feel about this. While I appreciate honest reviews, my friends are readers. If they didn’t like my book, they wouldn’t post a review.
My first novel debuted in February of 2015, so I’m hardly seasoned—yet. Still, I’ve seen my share of changes in the ten months since I became a published author. Our industry constantly evolves. I asked a few of our more seasoned authors about the changing publishing industry. Their answers follow their bios.
Tema Merback ‘s first book was a National Jewish Book Award Finalist entitled “In the Face of Evil,” the story of her mother’s survival of the Holocaust. It took her four years to write, but it was worth it, as it continues to be one of the highest rated books on Amazon and Goodreads. With her hot romance and suspense, she went the self-publishing route. She also writes under a nom de plume, Belle Ami.
Tina Susedik writes romantic mysteries, children’s books, and history books using her real name and erotic romance as Anita Kidesu. Her novel, “Riding for Love” was a finalist in the 2014 BTS awards. She has eleven books and two short stories in print, with two more on the horizon.
Catherine Castle writes sweet and inspirational romance. She has published one novel under the pen name of Catherine Castle and three as a coauthor with her husband. Her books consistently win awards, including the 2014 Beverly Hills Book Award Winner for Inspirational Romance, and a RONE in 2014 for inspirational romance. She was a finalist in the 2014 EPIC awards for an action/adventure romance and was a 2014 Carolyn Readers Choice Award finalist.
Samanthya Wyatt is a Golden Rose finalist. She writes both historical and contemporary romance, and has four books out at this time.
Petie McCarty is the author of five books, with the sixth coming in December. She writes contemporary paranormal romance for Desert Breeze and Soul Mate Publishing.
How has the publishing industry changed since your first release?
Tema: The good: There are many more places to promote your book. The internet is a smorgasbord for authors with its unlimited opportunities to reach an audience.
The bad: Millions of more books out there, unfortunately a whole lot of them are poorly edited, and poorly written.
Tina: If you’re talking my first book, which was a history book, a lot. I self-published it in 1998. Even though it sold well and fast, I was looked down on. It wasn’t treated as “a real book” because, at that time, self-publishing was for those who couldn’t do it any other way. Even my writing friends didn’t consider me “published” because I didn’t go through a publisher. Now, as we all know, self-publishing is a big industry. Also, when I started writing romance, and before I was published in that genre, the big publishers did promotion for their authors. Now we are expected to do the majority of it ourselves. Everyone is scrambling to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Getting into the minds of readers can be frustrating.
Catherine: I think one of the biggest changes has been the dropping of book prices. They’ve become so low that readers want your books for free—all the time. It’s a shame, because we put a lot of work, blood, and sweat into our books, and the constant lowering of prices doesn’t reflect what our books are worth.
Samanthya: I cannot get over the number of self-published authors. It would seem anyone can now publish a book. I like the idea of having a Kindle. But I also like to have a paperback in my hand. I worry about the closing of book stores.
Petie: Queries were snail mail submittals when I first started out. Now you can approach anybody anytime via the internet — big publishers, little publishers, big agents, little agents, and everything in between.
Self-publishing has flooded the market since my first release as well, which makes traditionally published authors have to work twice as hard for their reader quotient.
Have you noticed changes in the publishing industry? Do you think they are for the good . . . or bad?
UP NEXT WEEK: Balancing the real world with imagined ones