Rapid technological change has affected few industries any more dramatically than book publishing. Granted, it has remained an archaic business until very recently. However, with the blurring of media such as I discussed in the previous post, it has had the effect of actually putting the book-writer, formerly the most abused and disadvantaged of all media-content producers, in a much better position.
Since I am a published author with some modicum of success, I get plenty of email from would-be writers who want me to give them the magic key to breaking through, to getting their books published, gain millions of fawning readers, and make millions. Well, good luck with that! However, now more than ever, authors have some leverage thanks to the technology, even if, as noted below, the big publishing houses have yet to realize it. But I do reply to them, have a short article with advice on my web site, and have even written and published a short, inexpensive e-book on the subject.
Below is a recent reply to one person who wanted some ideas and guidance, and one whose expectations seemed realistic. This is what I told him: