Free Enterprise

I often wonder just how authors back in the days before the internet managed. Did they have to hire a publicist to get any sort of notoriety for their upcoming novel? Did the publisher shell out more money just in hopes that independent bookstores might carry their new author? Or was it a pure “shot-in-the-dark” attitude and, if so, does this explain a lot about the current state of the industry?

I worry about the state of publishing on a daily basis. The glacial speed it takes for a book to get on the market is a major drawback in today’s society that hates waiting for anything. Realistically, if a person wants an error-free book when they’re purchasing it then they need to wait for a minimum amount of time before the book comes to print. After all, editors, proofreaders and whatnot need to go over said books to ensure that the narrative isn’t constantly cursing when the hero is taking off his shirt.

Because of this attitude, one would think that the e-book industry would be taking off. However, publishing is a lot like people in that regard. Publishing doesn’t want to lose money on risky ventures, so they are cautiously and slowly attempting the e-book. In some cases, it’s been hit and miss. For others, a complete dud.

But in the vein of all this, authors can and should use any free means of advertising as they can. Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn… all these free sites are at an author’s disposal. It is very easy and free (I’m on Twitter, myself… and, naturally, this free thing called WordPress), and it just wouldn’t make any sense if someone looked away from all the inexpensive ways to reach out to their potential audience.

Especially in this troubled market…

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