Monday, August 26, 2013

[Guest Post] "10 Ways Publishing Has Changed..."

Hey, guys! You're in for a special treat today—and by special, I mean potentially dangerous... because Eric is taking over. :D Enjoy!
 ~ Carrie

P.S. Just remember, I am not responsible for anything he says. LOL
 


"10 Ways Publishing Has Changed Since My '97 Debut"
by Eric Muss-Barnes

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The Negatives of Publishing in 2013 Versus 1997:

  1. Less Bookstores
    The demise of so many bookstores deserves a reverent moment of silence. Bookstores are cathedrals, worshipping the sanctity of our yesteryears.

  2. Less Magazines
    You simply can't get published or reviewed in as many magazines anymore, because their numbers have shrunk faster than testicles in icewater.

  3. All The Damn Vampires...
    When I created the characters of The Vampire Noctuaries duology in 1991, there was no Buffy the Vampire Slayer, no Twilight, no Vampire Diaries, no True Blood, and people thought Barnabas Collins was Joan's sister. Although there are too many damn vampires now, I'm proud a story I began 20 years ago has none of today's vampire cliches.

  4. Crappy Self-Published Books
    The ease with which anyone can publish books today, has festered a mire of uneducated dillweeds cranking out an endless barrage of snail vomit disguised as "books". You know who you are! The ones with typos on every other page and all the narrative style of a 4th grader?

  5. Granular Categories/Genres
    As my idol Ray Bradbury once explained, "Fantasies are things that can't happen, and science fiction is about things that can happen." That's granular enough for me.

The Positives of Publishing in 2013 Versus 1997:
  1. On-Demand Printing!
    This one gets a well-deserved exclamation point, because it's so awesome. Do you ever stop to bask in the euphoria of how thrilling it is to be a writer today? How lucky we are! For the first time in the history of the world, anyone with access to a computer can write a book, have it printed for a reasonable fee, then shipped to almost any corner of the Earth. This has never been possible before in all of recorded time!

  2. eBooks
    The Gothic Rainbow was not available as an eBook until February of 2013. I was a Luddite hold-out, renouncing eBooks even longer than J.K. Rowling. I'm proud to say all my eBooks are constructed by me, by hand, and they actually work without getting all wonky in your eReader, unlike the eBooks of some authors (see #4 above).

  3. Amazon.com
    When my book was first published, Amazon would put any book with an ISBN in their database. Shortly thereafter, they adopted a policy wherein you had to pay them to appear on their site. Thankfully, Amazon turned this lame policy around and is now one of the greatest supporters of small publishers and self-publishing.

  4. Social Media
    How would you promote a book via the Internet without blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Goodreads, LibraryThing, or Google? None of those sites existed in 1997. We didn't even have cat memes! In 1997, the Internet was nothing but cobwebs, tumbleweeds and 5 dirty pictures... of your mom. She was hot back then.

  5. You
    "Thanking the fans" is such a cliche, but folks like you are the people who allow folks like me to flourish and keep paying the rent. As I don't fancy the notion of becoming an emaciated homeless writer living under a bridge in a cardboard box, I truly appreciate you and every single person who becomes a fan and purchases what I write. Believe me, thanking you is not a corny cliche. I am truly grateful for the existence of my readers.

  6. Bonus Answer: Carrie Butler
    Miss Butler wasn't part of my publishing endeavors in 1997 either. Thankfully, in 2013, the talented Miss Butler exists and has given me the opportunity to talk about my books and writing experiences. For that, she has my heartfelt appreciation. Carrie, if you ever make it out to Los Angeles, I should warn you - beware of scruffy novelist bad boys with tight abs and motorcycles. They are total jerks. Just my friendly travel tip to a fellow Ohioan.

CB: Aww, I love a good suck up answer. ;) In fact, I love it so much I'll post your warning photo for readers to enjoy alongside the longest bio ever.

About Eric Muss-Barnes:

Novelist and author Eric Muss-Barnes was born and raised in Ohio. His grandest literary work to date is an epic 294,000 word vampire duology entitled The Vampire Noctuaries, beginning with The Gothic Rainbow and concluding with Annwn's Maelstrom Festival. He has released a "vocational autobiography" detailing the humorous ups-and-downs leading him from his hometown to Hollywood, in a book entitled How You Can Get a Job at Walt Disney Studios Without a College Degree. In addition to his work at Walt Disney Studios, he has written, directed and produced an award-nominated, critically-acclaimed short-film entitled The Unseelie Court, a movie screened in numerous film festivals across the country and is available on DVD. His writing has been published in numerous magazines around the world and within multiple anthologies, such as Tales From The Dark Tower and The Skateboarder's Journal - Lives on Board, while his professional photography has been exhibited and sold in art galleries from Cleveland to Los Angeles. His second book, entitled Schooling Your Boss To Not Suck, regales amusing tales of unfortunate managers at various jobs he's held over the years while Forever Loving You is the tongue-in-cheek title of his book of poetry and axioms. Eric Muss-Barnes lives in Los Angeles, California.




Eric's Question of the Week: What are some things you feel have changed the most over the years and bring a positive change to the world of publishing?

CB: And don't forget. Today is the last day to get STRENGTH for 99¢! ♥

44 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lots of changes. I'm very grateful for social media as I wouldn't want to bookstore appearances to be my only option.

Donna K. Weaver said...

lol Great post. Love the suck up to you Carrie. All that he said is true too.

Melissa said...

'dillweeds cranking out snail vomit'
ROFL xD

Yes! Agree about Carrie!
Good answer. ;)

Sheena-kay Graham said...

But according to your top five gripes wouldn't your positive #1 still be somewhat connected to your negative #4. People do pay to have crappy books published too.

You gave some interesting pros and cons Eric. And I have to agree that it is sort of sad about the bookstores. Amazon is definitely a huge plus.

Eric Muss-Barnes said...

I've actually never done a bookstore signing. I've always been afraid of suffering a Spinal Tap moment and no one shows up.

Eric Muss-Barnes said...

Thank you, Donna. I'm glad it gave you a chuckle. Carrie was kind enough to allow me to post a longer version on my own blog. So, if you'd like the LP version of this EP, check it out at http://www.inkshard.com/10-ways-publishing-has-changed-since-my-97-debut/

Eric Muss-Barnes said...

My nose is a bit brown for the wear, but it's always good to suck up to your host.

prerna pickett said...

awesome changes that make it possible for the great books that used to get lost in the slush pile to shine.

Eric Muss-Barnes said...

Absolutely. On-Demand Printing is definitely a contributor to a proliferation of Crappy Self-Published Books. I see On-Demand Printing as a positive tool that can unfortunately be used for evil. Kind of like a CD being used to record a Nicki Minaj album.

Julie Luek said...

Bam- you nailed those changes, for better or worse, spot-on. Self-publishing is two sides of the coin, isn't it?

I miss bookstores.

My son's girlfriend is an engineering intern at Disney World-- almost done with her degree. I may have to check out your book!

Nancy Thompson said...

Awesome! I love this!

Angela Brown said...

I wonder if there will ever be some sort of sanctuary designed across the world to house the fleeting and endangered bookstore?

And Eric, appreciate the warning :-)

Eric Muss-Barnes said...

Thank you. Please do check out my Disney book. Working for Walt is the greatest honor of my professional life and I'm privileged and blessed to have been part of the magic.

Eric Muss-Barnes said...

I predict bookstores will go the way of recordstores - they won't vanish, but they are getting less commonplace. Printed books still have a place in the world and I like to think they will continue to have one for the duration of all our lifetimes. As to my warning, I had to give one. Can't have poor Carrie suckered in by guys like me, er, I mean, "them"...

Carrie Butler said...

Fun fact! Walt Disney and I share the same birthday. Nancy S. Thompson, too. ;)

Carrie Butler said...

D'aww... Donna! :)

Carrie Butler said...

Thanks, Melissa! :D

jamieayres.com said...

Even though I hate social media when it comes to keeping up with my 13yo daughter, I LOVE it as an author :-) Funny guest post!

Eric Muss-Barnes said...

You and Walt share birthdays and Nancy S. Thompson?... That sounds very scandalous! I don't think you should post that in public. ;-)

Eric Muss-Barnes said...

I can't imagine. If I had kids, I think I'd just become Amish and claim the Internet didn't exist. It's a myth.

Lynda R Young said...

Eric, I had a hearty laugh out loud at, 'Crappy Self-Published Books'--though I will suggest that the majority of those you mentioned don't actually know you're talking about them. They've published their treasured gems, fully believing in their sparkle. They can't see the mountain of mistakes because of the glare. Just saying ;)

Mark Means said...

Nice to see the changes from one who has 'been there'. Interesting stuff and thanks, Carrie, for hosting such an informative guest :)

Julia King said...

It is crazy how publishing has changed over the years. I for one am happy I can purchase books from my computer and they just ship to my front door. Pretty spiffy. :D

Crystal Collier said...

Such a fun post. Thank you Eric, and Carrie. I sent my first query in 2002, and talk about change! (Oops, just dated myself.) Change is a good thing though--if you can keep up with the trends, and I'm loving the direction they're going. (Minus the loss of bookstores. A moment of silence, please.)

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Interesting post. Lots of think about here. Thanks.

T.F. Walsh said...

Great post... indeed so many changes have taken place. I so miss all the book stores:(

Mark Murata said...

"Less Bookstores" Indeed. Barnes & Noble may be in a death spiral.

Tammy Theriault said...

i was totally snickering the whole time! any man that can say dillweed tastefully and with true tack...gotta love it!

Cherie Reich said...

There are definitely negatives and positives of publishing back then as well as today. I definitely think the positives of today lean more in favor toward authors than any other time.

Eric Muss-Barnes said...

I agree wholeheartedly. You're right. They have no idea. A wise man once said, "Stupid people will never realize it when you point out they are dumb." I'm quoting myself, of course.

Eric Muss-Barnes said...

And thank you for perceiving me as informative.

Eric Muss-Barnes said...

Hermits living the dream!

Eric Muss-Barnes said...

You're welcome. Glad you enjoyed it. Evolve or die - everyone born after 1970 seems to innately grasp that.

Eric Muss-Barnes said...

I have faith in Barnes & Noble. They seem to be playing things smart. They are closing a ton of stores over the next few years, but they had almost 700 stores in the United States. Even with a high demand for printed books, that seems like way too many to sustain itself.

Eric Muss-Barnes said...

Thank you ma'am. I can say far many other things distastefully too!

Eric Muss-Barnes said...

I agree. In the past 5 to 10 years, distribution opportunities have become better than any other time in history. The one downside is getting anyone to pay attention to your shotglass of novels in an ocean of books.

Tara Tyler said...

great guest post! sad about the negatives, love the def of fantasy & sci fi! and the positives i'm still getting used to.

worst part of ebooks, no one can see the cover of what youre reading...

Pk Hrezo said...

Sounds like a funny guy to me. I always thought it'd be fun to write a book called "101 Ways to Piss Off Your Waitress." o_O
The industry has changed completely from when I first started writing seriously. I cant believe we had to snail mail mss and SASE for correspondence. Ugh. :)

Eric Muss-Barnes said...

Thanks! As to the eBook problem, print it out and tape it to the back of your Kindle! Problem solved!

Eric Muss-Barnes said...

Funny guy? I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh? What do you mean funny, funny how? How am I funny?
Kids today won't even know what a SASE is.

Misha Gericke said...

Of all the changes I love, the one I love the most is this: that the ebooks opened a hole in the wall so that writers can by-pass the gatekeepers to get published.

Yeah, sometimes, this means that some books suck. It also means that some books with potential, but that wouldn't have caught big publishers' attention, have a chance of seeing the light.

Eric Muss-Barnes said...

Authors have been able to bypass the gatekeeprs for a very, very long time. eBooks have opened the gates, but some of us had already been chillin' in the castle years before the eBook keys existed.

Emily R. King said...

The list of things that are better now is great. I know Amazon is the reason a lot of Mom and Pop bookstores are out of business, but I do love how easy it is to click and read e-books!

Eric Muss-Barnes said...

Amazon has 97,000 employees. If the average "mom and pop" bookshop had 5 employees, that means Amazon keeps food on the table for the equivalent of 19,400 small bookshops. That doesn't seem so bad to me.