The Need for Good Storytelling Never Changes

The evolution of books and publishing has proven there will always be a place for stories

Photo by Melanie Deziel on Unsplash

When I reflect back to when I started writing, I’m in awe of how much publishing has changed over the years.

There were dozens of large and medium-sized publishers back then. If you didn’t know how to approach them or get a book published, you could buy a large dictionary-sized book called The Writer’s Market (it still exists) listing all the publishers and agents.

An author then had to search through the pages to find publishers who accepted submissions for the genre they wrote. After that, the long process of writing query letters, mailing (yes, mailing through the post office) them to publishers, and waiting for rejections began.

It was a publisher’s game. It was kind of scary and intimidating for a writer. It felt a little like playing the lottery and hoping you weren’t wasting your time and energy to win the big publishing contract.

Then, gradually, things turned around with the advent of self-publishing options. Writers began to have new opportunities to publish their work themselves directly to places like Amazon.com’s KDP program or Smashwords. Then ebook distributors who used to distribute only for the big publishers like Ingram realized there was a market and joined Amazon and others, helping writers get their books formatted and distributed to various vendors.

I’ve been wondering what is next for writers and the publishing world. It is now easier than ever for writers to publish their books, and there are more books published every year than ever; the estimate is that four million books are published yearly, and that number is growing.

We have more books available, but does it help authors? Does anyone read these uploaded books? Or are authors who publish with traditional publishers still the ones who get featured on Amazon pages and who sell well?

And do people still read as many books as they used to? Or do readers prefer blog posts, podcasts, and videos these days? Neither of my twenty-something children are readers. When they were young, they loved to read. Their mother is a writer, and our house is filled with…

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