Day Six of my interview with Christina Katz, author of Get Known Before the Book Deal and Writer Mama.
Q: There has been all kinds of press lately about how the publishing industry is changing, how it’s becoming smaller and more competitive than ever. How do you think platform plays into this new world of publishing? Do writers need to be more online savvy then every before?
CK: Definitely. There’s just no question about it. And, as I’ve said repeatedly, it really doesn’t matter if you are aiming for traditional publication or self-publication or, eventually, both. The fact remains that there is a lot more competition in traditional publishing than there was even last year. I suspect the number of print books will continue to go down until the industry finds the sustainable and saleable number.
However, the old way wasn’t better. I’m not sure most writers realize how many books were going right into print, failing, and going right out of print. Part of the problem there was the expectation on the writer’s side that the publisher would take care of everything. Then they discovered that the publisher was really only putting marketing muscle behind the “A” list of books they published and the brand new author had to do pretty much everything or suffer a very short shelf life.
From the writer’s point-of-view, this was not the ideal entry into authorhood. A better way is to remember 100% responsibility whether you are traditionally published or self-published. Be realistic, if you put your shoulder into selling your book, you will sell it. If you don’t, it might sell or it might not sell at all. The choice really rests with the author, not the publishing house.
Tomorrow’s question: Where should a writer start in the platform-building business?