The one constant in our lives regardless of industry is that change is certain. With the publishing industry, this change is no less apparent than anywhere else. Even as readers continue to see the jobless rate increase, they still spend money on their favorite romance authors. This is obviously a part of what’s contributing to the change.
With social media sites such as twitter and facebook, readers have an opportunity to get closer to their favorite authors. I talk routinely on twitter with Yasmine Galenorn and Deidre Knight, both of whom are well respected authors. Deidre’s also a literary agent with integrity. But what of the media
True we’re still in the great debate over e-books versus print but what I’ve seen is the following: E-books emerged some ten plus years ago as a new format for readers who leaned towards hotter, spicier material. They wanted hotter sex, varied sex and would look into the new formats as a means to discover new authors. Early on, the first few publishing houses made the leap into Print on Demand format, giving readers a chance to own solid copies of their favorite authors. More houses picked up this model and modified it while keeping the core focus on their e-book business.
With the development of e-readers like the Kindle and iPad, Barnes and Nobel’s acquisition of Fictionwise, and other industry shifts, New York finally took notice. For one, Harlequin opened up a new line of e-books under the Nocturne Line called Nocturne Bites, a series of 15k paranormal romance stories with slightly hotter sex that the e-book crowd loves while still giving the ebook authors the Harlequin stamp of approval.
Other New York houses followed suit and realized a need for e-books to be incorporated into their business model. The theory to me is that if the ebook houses are making money, they’re taking sales from NY and in a recession, that’s bad.
This change has forced a lot of houses under, hurt a lot of authors but allowed those of us who could roll with the changes to grow and emerge as experts. Take the WriteSEX panel, (http://www.writesex.net) for example. With the help of my publicist, this group of experts was established to help the writer, both old and new, survive in the publishing field. Blogging groups are nothing new, but most are not specialized. I blog for Midnight Seductions Authors once a month, Total E-bounds blog and do guest blogs routinely. But none of these blogs have a specific focus. Even the GLBT blog started by Jolie DuPre (I think) has a general purpose. So the advantage here is clear.
By grouping well known and established erotica authors together I have done two things. First, I’ve helped give them a purpose and career enhancement. Sure we’ve all danced around each other in various anthologies and events but having us together as a working group with that specific focus puts them back in the spotlight in a time when expertise is definitely needed.
Second, it ties me to them. For years I’ve had a voice, a valid voice in erotic romance but only now am I coming into my true voice as an erotic romance author. Yeah, I’m angry, vitriolic, No Spin, famous for throwing bombs but I’m also a talented educator and writer with a lot to offer the industry.
I’ve been a writer for ten years and have watched the industry grow and change. Right now we’re in for a long ride where only the strong and malleable authors will survive. Are you riding the wave of change, or fighting it?