the future of publishing: a note in honor of my up and coming friends

Friday, July 1, 2011

I am quoting now from a comment I received earlier this week from Liviania, one of my very first young friends in this blogging arena.  Her words, entire:
I'm at the Columbia Publishing Course right now, and one of the themes is that publishers need to be more transparent. They need to talk about what they do, so that authors understand the value of a publisher versus just putting an ebook on the internet themselves.

Your editor, your copyeditor . . . you blog so frequently and beautifully about the team behind your books. I'm sure they appreciate it even more than you can imagine.
I write about my editors, my copy editors, my dream editors, those collective teams because they matter to me.  Because they have changed the way I've thought about books. Because they have made room, from time to time, for my stories, while keeping me safe from myself.

Judging from the quality of the minds of my students and of those younger bloggers who have befriended me both on this page and off of it, I can say with absolute assurance that there is a rising class of editorial types—a stellar cadre of wordlovers and wordsmiths, grammatical giants, and opinionated tastemakers that will define our next generation of books if we, as a culture, remain open to them.

We must, I think, remain open to them.  Eric Felten, writing in the Wall Street Journal (which has lately emerged as a hotspot for book talk) is of that opinion, too.  Here he is, opining with a piece he's called:  "Cherish the Book Publishers—You'll Miss Them When They're Gone."


Q said...

He is SO RIGHT. I fully believe that there will ALWAYS be a place for real book publishers, as long as they can hold on long enough for people to realize that the books coming out of publishing houses are the polished ones that are actually worth reading.

The1stdaughter said...

I agree 100%! The more I read and become acquainted with what's available the more I'm convinced that publishers & the teams behind them are absolutely necessary. It may be the more difficult road to travel, but persistence does pay off as you mentioned in your last post. In the end you have a gorgeous book inside and out. Love publishers! :o)

Eric said...

If Mr. Felten thinks that New York publishing houses have people "tending the slush pile", "looking for hidden gems", then he's not doing much fact checking!

Laurie Schneider said...

There's a fabulous piece on this very topic in the May/June issue of the Hornbook you might enjoy:

Beth Kephart said...

Thanks to all of you for your comments here (you know I love you), and thank you, Laurie. I've tried and tried to leave a comment on your blog just now, but couldn't. I hope you find this note.

Laurie Schneider said...

Got it, Beth! Not sure what's up with my blog (besides me being a very lazy blogger...). I hear that LiveJournal is not a reliable platform any more. I spend most of my blogging efforts lately on a middle-grade group blog: Maybe you need to write a middle-grade book? ;) I introduced my 12-year-old daughter to Undercover last week and she loved it. (Of course!)

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