Publishing in Review: What 2011 Says About Your Future Writing Career

by | Dec 26, 2011 | Book Publishing, Interesting News for Writers | 5 comments

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Deadline: Thursday, October 20th

publishing industry 2011This year is nearly a thing of the past. But that doesn’t mean it’s out of lessons to teach us!

The things that happened this year give us a good idea of what to expect next year (and years after that). And so, here’s a brief retrospective of some of the big changes and events (in no particular order) that happened in the publishing industry in 2011.

1. Borders collapses. Bookstores across the country disappear after the struggling chain was unable to find a buyer. Some people in the industry hypothesize that this could mean a return to the prominence of independent bookstores. This holiday season, indie booksellers report stronger than expected sales.

2. iPad 2 hits the market. With over 15 million iPads sold, digital publishing is gaining ground. The way we read is changing.

3. Print sales droop. Newspapers report slumping numbers. Book publishers report shrinking sales of paperbacks and hardcovers.

iPad4. E-book sales rise (and rise, and rise, and rise). In August 2011, the American Association of Publishers announced that e-book sales were up a whopping 116% (and growing)!

5. E-book supply chain investigated. From the LA Times: “European Union antitrust regulators are investigating Apple Inc. and the e-book business model it uses to sell digital titles from five of the largest international book publishers.”

6. Amanda Hocking signs with St. Martin’s Press for two million dollars. Hocking was just one self-published author to make a huge splash in the traditional publishing industry this year. According to Wikipedia, the 27-year-old “wrote 17 novels in her spare time. In April 2010, she began self-publishing them as e-books. By March 2011, she had sold over a million copies of nine books and earned two million dollars from sales, something previously unheard of for self-published authors.”

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7. Amazon is ginormous. CNN reports that Amazon is bigger (and scarier?) than most readers know. From CNN: “Amazon is holding the entire book industry hostage,” says Oren Teicher, CEO of the American Booksellers Association.

8. Literary magazines begin to bounce back. In 2008, we at Writer’s Relief saw many literary journals disappear or go on indefinite “vacations.” But they seem to be making a comeback as online literary journals gain ground (and readers).

Writer QuestionsQUESTION: What were your writing milestones in 2011?

 

Here are our 2011 milestones!

1. Web Design Relief is up and running! You asked for it, and we responded. We are now helping authors develop effective websites. The year’s emphasis on digital culture further affirmed what we’ve been saying for a while now: having an author website is no longer an option. We are glad to offer this new service to writers!

2. We are expanding! We’re thrilled that even in a sludgy economy, our business is growing and we’re able to create new jobs (and welcome talented new people into the Writer’s Relief family).

3. Our clients saw hundreds (well into the thousands) of acceptance letters, requests for manuscripts, and offers of agent representation. There were many nominations for the (highly competitive) Pushcart Prize, which is awesome!

4. We’re regularly writing for The Huffington Post. And having a great time doing it!

5.  Our Lit Mag Support campaign has been gaining ground. Our clients benefit tremendously from the work that editors of lit mags do, so we’ve launched a number of new initiatives to bring great lit mags to our 30,000+ readers (we want to encourage new lit mag supporters and fans). We love that so many of you have joined in our efforts to share the love!

Thanks for helping to make our 2011 so great!

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5 Comments

  1. Reggie

    It’s amazing that all of these large-scale publishing industry game changers happened in 2011!

    And thank you Writer’s Relief for giving us so much in 2011! It sounds like you all had a banner year.

    Reply
  2. Carolyn Wont

    I think that this is the year, especially with the holidays and everything, that people are going digital. Even us stragglers.

    I haven’t had an ereader. I’ve been ambivalent. But this year, the prices have come down. So we bought a tablet computer for my father in law, a Nook for my mother in law, and I am probably going to get myself a Nook because I got a bunch of Barnes and Noble gift cards. At $100, it’s attainable. AndI like the idea of my gigantic TBR list not being able to collect dust!

    So I think the switch to digital, which has been gaining momentum, gained a TON of momentum this year.

    Reply
  3. Robert DeWinter

    Here’s something. What about that guy–I can’t remember his name–who sold so many self-published books that he got a book deal from a major publisher.

    But instead of selling ALL the rights to the publisher, he sold ONLY the print distribution rights, and kept all the erights for himself.

    I mean–that’s crazy! It means that the writer (who e-publishes) is in direct competition with the print publisher. In the old days, a publisher never would have gone for that.

    It’s been a really intersting year in publishing. Sorry I can’t remember the person’s name!

    Reply
  4. Greg

    Started putting together solid groups for submission and wrote out a cover letter. Similar to a job resume, it seems simple but took much longer than I expected. Hoping to receive my first rejection letter in 2012!

    Reply
  5. Richard

    America is still a land of opportunity. I just gave my wife a Kindle reader and she (to my total surprise) gifted me with a Kindle Fire. We still read books, but when we travel, the new electronic miracle works for us, takes up much less space than the minimum three books we always seem to carry along (apiece) and is more versatile. I can carry with me in a space roughly 4 x 7 inches Magazines, games, all the books I want with me, and copies of my published novels (to show or refer to) and many of my unpublished short stories. I don’t hawk my books on trips, but once in a while the subject does come up and how handy it will be to show them to interested people along the way.

    Reply

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