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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

No More Rejection?

Before I continue with my mini-series on manuscript rejections, I hope you'll pop over to Carolyn Howard-Johnson's and read one of my favorite reviews on my 13th book, Vicki's Key. It was printed in Suspense Magazine earlier this year. My 14th book will be released this month, entitled Secrets of a Dangerous Woman!


Last week I ran a couple of pieces about famous rejections and my email was flooded with feedback from authors. The publishing industry is a complicated one and hearing how varied the authors' experiences and paths have been prompt me to ask:

Will manuscript rejections soon be a thing of the past?

At one time, publishers needed deep pockets, large staffs and costly technology to publish a book and distribute it. But with the invention of the personal computer, affordable publishing software and the Internet, the possibilities today are limitless: from the traditional method of manuscript queries and submissions to self-publishing, eBook publishing, small and mid-size presses with traditional and hybrid business models.

Could publishing soon follow the movie and music industries?

Consider the movie industry just thirty years ago. A few large and powerful companies had Hollywood in their grip. Women who wanted a film career often were met with the "casting couch" and a single movie mogul could make or break an actor's career.

Flash forward to today's movies. Ever wonder about the film credits at the beginning of a movie? When Gone With the Wind was released, the first screen the viewer saw was "David O. Selznick's Gone With the Wind." Compare that to The Bourne Legacy; listed with Universal Pictures are Relativity Media, The Kennedy/Marshall Company, Captivate Entertainment, Dentsu and Bourne Film Productions.

Just who are those other companies?

Sometimes the companies are owned by actors - Ben Affleck, Drew Barrymore, Tom Cruise, Tom Selleck are just a few of the actors who moved from the big studios to their own production companies, though they often work in conjunction with the larger companies, especially for distribution. Other times, they are directors or producers who work on or bankroll a production and then team with a larger company for marketing and distribution.

The music industry was similar just a few years ago. Often a musician would be left with paltry earnings while the music moguls who produced the record would reap most of the profits. Then artists such as Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers began to realize they could own their own production companies and keep more of the profit. Rappers were on the forefront of developing their own industry. Today many musicians have their own companies but they team with the larger companies for distribution.

Could publishing be headed in the same direction?

It made headlines when New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer left one of the Big Six and started his own publishing company. Janet Evanovich was rumored a couple of years ago to be considering starting her own publishing venture (she signed with a different publisher instead.)

To be sure, there is a segment of the author community who look down their noses on authors who are published by any company outside of The Big Six. But flash forward to the next generation and the one after that... What do you think the publishing industry will look like?