Another Publishing Merger?
Posted on November 20, 2012
I was just browsing through my Facebook feed when I caught Writer Beware‘s post that Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins may be merging. I can’t even begin to describe a little of the panic that rose inside of me. We’ve all been saying that the publishing world had to change, and that it was holding on to old traditions too hard. However, I don’t think many of us writers could expect such huge change so quickly.
For those who are self-publishing, there may be a shared sense of comfort in knowing that betting on yourself may be the safest bet in publishing these days. For those pursuing traditional publishing, there has to be a sense of wonder and fear of what so much merging can entail. For me, I think the fear is larger than the wonder. If the Big 6 reduced to the Big 5 with the Penguin and Random House merger, I figured that getting a literary agent let alone a publishing deal just reduced exponentially. If the Big 5 is now going to become the Big 4, does that mean that any shot I might have had is completely gone?
Okay, I’m being a little overly negative here. There could be some positive outcomes. It’s possible that these publishing houses intend to combine finances and somehow address the possibility of self-publishing. I’ve been saying (to those who want to listen) that these houses could start dipping into the self-publishing pool and do it well since many people would want the cache of a big house’s name behind their self-published book. Also, small publishing houses could reap some of the benefits as agents and writers try to shop their writing around to them while the dust settles with the big houses.
I can be a negative Nelly sometimes, and here are some of the possible outcomes that may change the writing industry completely. With fewer of the big houses, they can be pickier with material they choose. It could be that writing will just have to be that much better. But it will more likely indicate that they will bet on sure things – like celebrity-written books. We may also see an increase in offering the successful indie authors a shot since they’ll be coming in with a built-in fan base. For those authors trying to break into the business, the fight just got that much harder.
For those authors trying to break into the business, the fight just got that much harder.
So I’m toughening up my skin because I believe in my own writing. I am going head first into the fray knowing that I will most likely get knocked down time and time again. The wall I needed to scale just grew that much bigger. But I know there still has to be a way in somewhere, and I will keep looking for that chink in the armor that is traditional publishing with my one book. For my other potential works, I will probably be turning to the one entity that has caused all of this change in the first place – Amazon. Anyone else with me?