What We’re Going to Have to Give Up and Get Used To

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polymath
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Re: What We’re Going to Have to Give Up and Get Used To

Post by polymath » December 12th, 2009, 4:00 pm

Hi, Ought Agers,

I come from the teen-years future, and do I have some reality for you-all.

In 2018, after the collapse of the petroleum economy, food and land and water riots that changed national boundaries, the ongoing environmental prolapses and perfusions of climate change, and emergence of a new global equilibrium, the use of personal devices steadied out at 32.8 percent of readers reading all text on devices, 30.2 percent reading equally on devices and traditional media codexes, 31.4 percent reading solely on codex, 5.6 percent oral narration traditions (live, digital recordings), and surprise surprise, the majority balance of the nonreading global population who now all speaks and reads creole Chinese-Esper-E-text-bonics English, not reading much of anything at all beyond the Global Emergency Sectretaries' feel-good posters and billboards and broadsheets and what they have to to stay abreast of in their everyday daily drudge existence.

Back to my present.
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lovelylj
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Re: What We’re Going to Have to Give Up and Get Used To

Post by lovelylj » December 12th, 2009, 5:00 pm

Fiction authors will probably not be able to make a living from their writing until later in their careers.

Of course there will always be the lottery winners who score a major movie deal or are raised up to be the next hot child of some major publisher. But most authors won’t be known until they have several books out and those books are selling and producing royalties from an audience that has built up slowly over the years. This may mean twenty or more books in a given genre before there is any real financial success.


(hasn't this always been the case?) Interview with a Vampire was published in 1976, but the movie wasn't made until 1994

You will never see a paper version of your book.

All marketing will eventually be done on-line with e-books. Paper books right now are caught between a bullet and a target. They cost too much to make and consumers are demanding they sell for too little. An author who goes the e-route through an indi publisher, however, can have their books sell for 3.99 and still make a decent royalty. Nothing will stop the force of that kind of economics.

Is it possible for the publishers to create a cheaper way of producing the books?

There is going to be a terrible lag in the industry.

E-books don’t sell enough now and paper books are too expensive to print for midlist authors. So, for a while, until it becomes very common for people to read books on e-readers, it’s going to be a tough time for authors to make serious money on their books. On the one hand they won’t get published, on the other hand they will find easier publication with e-publishers but less sales.

I think that once the price of the e-readers go down this will change. I remember when cd players were thousands and thousands of dollars.
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polymath
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Re: What We’re Going to Have to Give Up and Get Used To

Post by polymath » December 12th, 2009, 6:18 pm

Gordon Jerome wrote: LOL. Excellent! I want to major in Chinese-Esper-E-text-bionics English grammar.
& LOL [alt 3] @cha: lots of luck!

2018, Global Author Corps income from blog BFF fans' dig-its funded by GES's Fuzzy, Warm, and Woolies Division. [Heart] mega-[Euros], eh?
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Re: What We’re Going to Have to Give Up and Get Used To

Post by gilesth » December 12th, 2009, 7:51 pm

lovelylj wrote:Fiction authors will probably not be able to make a living from their writing until later in their careers.

Of course there will always be the lottery winners who score a major movie deal or are raised up to be the next hot child of some major publisher. But most authors won’t be known until they have several books out and those books are selling and producing royalties from an audience that has built up slowly over the years. This may mean twenty or more books in a given genre before there is any real financial success.


(hasn't this always been the case?) Interview with a Vampire was published in 1976, but the movie wasn't made until 1994
Actually, that HAS been the case since book authors stopped getting payed by the word. Jim Butcher estimates that 3 in 1000 authors will get any book published by a major publisher, and only 1 in 100 of THOSE authors will even be able to make a living at writing. Butcher is quoting statistics from 1999is when his first book got published, and it wasn't until 2004, when his second SERIES came out, that he could sustain his family off of his work...and he still had to write TWO book series...serieses?

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Re: What We’re Going to Have to Give Up and Get Used To

Post by a_r_williams » December 13th, 2009, 12:51 am

Some of my personal beliefs concerning the coming changes in publishing:

1. It will be more important for authors to build their platforms to try and gain readership. Websites, blogs, Facebook & MySpace, along with Twitter feeds will become increasingly important for getting the word out.

2. Marketing. Writer's will have to find a way to better market their product to become known, seen, and remembered. It will become easier for people who do not want to deal with rejection to say they are a "writer" and skip the rejection that comes with submitting to gatekeepers.

3. Some form of SEO ( search engine optimization ). There are millions of websites. When you search for information on the web most people rarely scan past the first few pages. Finding ways to make your name come to the top of the list, so you can be "found" will be more important than ever.

4. Free stuff/ Dynamic content. People love free stuff and extras. Author should devise ways to have interactive content on their site, perhaps even in their books. They should also include freebies that add to the content of their stories: character profiles, maps, perhaps short stories for "deleted scenes or behind the scenes" type stuff.

5. It will take a while for the new model to take shape. There still needs to be a standard format for e-reader devices. Publishers will have to search for a way to control their product. Authors should study the market and figure out ways to improve their chances of success. The best way of course is to write the best work that is within you, but authors will need to be more savy and try and figure out the best course of action by studying the way the wind may blow and taking measures to stay ahead of the game.

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Re: What We’re Going to Have to Give Up and Get Used To

Post by casnow » December 13th, 2009, 4:15 am

polymath wrote: In 2018, after the collapse of the petroleum economy,
Back to my present.
No collapse of the petroleum economy in site, no matter how many fictional papers scientists want to write about it :) you're going to have to wait until about 2050 for that to happen, at which point I'll be dead from years of eating meat and drinking cheap whiskey...

But, I think that Gordon does have some valid points. Most authors will have a difficult time getting their work in print, getting their name out there, and making a living at it (they're called starving artists for a reason). however, the industry can definitely do things differently and better. First, they will be forced to change the model where booksellers can return books - I don't know how that ever got started, but it is crazy. Second i think we will see more POD (could it be possible that one day we'll go into B&N and they will only have covers for the books displayed and then you'll go to the back of the store and they will print it for you right there? "Your book will be ready in 20 minutes sir. Careful, the binding glue is still hot.") Third, eReaders won't take off until the pricing is much cheaper - I remember when the cheapest MP3 player was $400, and now you can get them at the drugstore for $19.99. Same thing will happen to eReaders. Once patents start to roll off you will see companies making them available for $99, then $49, and maybe (depending on how dumbed down), a dedicted eReader only (no 3G or anything like that - just a good ol' fashioned USB plug in) for insanely cheap (probably less than the cost of a hardcover).

That is when publishers and booksellers will really start to make money off of eBooks.

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Re: What We’re Going to Have to Give Up and Get Used To

Post by ChrisisAlwaysRight » December 13th, 2009, 5:38 am

1) That's always happened.

2) I seriously disagree. Maybe if you don't get published for 20 years or so, but ebooks aren't completely here yet.

But the good news... I'm sorry, but that's a crock. They said the same about records, then invented tapes. Said the same about tapes, then invented CDs. (And you can still buy records, by the way). Said the same about DVDs and invented Blu-Ray.

E-book readers are too new. Netbooks and Laptops burn out after a few years. You can bet your reader will, too, but no one has had one long enough to learn that. What then, buy an entire new library as well as new reader?

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polymath
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Re: What We’re Going to Have to Give Up and Get Used To

Post by polymath » December 13th, 2009, 12:03 pm

casnow wrote: No collapse of the petroleum economy in site, no matter how many fictional papers scientists want to write about it :) you're going to have to wait until about 2050 for that to happen, at which point I'll be dead from years of eating meat and drinking cheap whiskey...
2018: There is no more cheap whiskey, wine, or beer. Meat's not all that readily available either. 2500% excise taxes on unhealthy activities. Booze, fatty foods, high sugar soft drinks and foods, hydrocarbon fuels and PAH solvents; tobacco products were already there as of 1 April 2009; body mass index based insurance premiums. €1000 per metric ton of industrial carbon emissions, average household carbon setoff tax assessment €3000.

Excise revenues support burgeoning hydrogen replacement economy, biological hydrogen algae farming, and polder and dike construction projects protecting coastal megatropolises from rising seas, reforestation projects, fusion plants construction to produce electricity for the grid.

Global demographic transition in progress, annual population decline 0.17%. 8.5 billion souls and falling alarmingly fast.

Writers join Global Author Corps or face interment in work camps if they don't toe the global politic line.
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Re: What We’re Going to Have to Give Up and Get Used To

Post by rose » December 13th, 2009, 1:28 pm

Gordon, I was just going to search out your post on the specific uses of the preface/prelude/forward choices and thank you for making it so clear, when I came upon this one sitting at the top of the list. It should be required reading for all aspiring writers.

And on a personal note, as a Mississippian turned Californian I was surprised to see that you have made the reverse transition. You do know that it is the inhaling of the spores of Spanish Moss that causes those apparitions to appear, don't you? <insert smilie here> But seriously, that's a very generous offer you are making...if you aren't overwhelmed by then we (my partner and I) may take you up on it early next spring.

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Re: What We’re Going to Have to Give Up and Get Used To

Post by rose » December 13th, 2009, 1:34 pm

I agree, a.r. As an example of what interactivity can do, look at how rapidly this forum took shape. I would bet Nathan's visitor count grew exponentially this week.

rose
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Re: What We’re Going to Have to Give Up and Get Used To

Post by Mary Jo » December 14th, 2009, 11:17 am

In the year 2018, writers are much less plentiful than twitters or texters, unless the writers forego adjectives, adverbs, and all articles in their works. Full-length novels will be approximately as long as this post.

In the future's frugal economy, readers download their reading material from free websites on every topic imaginable and not illegal or censored. Royalties for authors are extinct, but webmasters earn nice salaries. Books, unless they have sentimental value, are bought and sold for fuel or insulation.

Poetry enjoys a great revival, especially Soduiku, a numbers puzzle and Haiku hybred artistic expression that requires excellent math and word skills, and can be completed on sandy or dry soil, smoothed, then drawn with a stick.

Electricity is more valuable than gold, as the lifesblood of wire circuits connects people to meaning and expression.

In the year 2018, almost half the members of Congress never read a complete bill in its entirety, only thumb through the 'pages" looking for illustrations.

In the year 2018, ultraviolet and other damaging rays from the sun dim the eyesight of 75 percent of the world's population. Helen Keller enjoys a revival on aural recordings. Moles are popular pets.

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Re: What We’re Going to Have to Give Up and Get Used To

Post by dmarie84 » December 14th, 2009, 1:20 pm

Mary Jo wrote:In the year 2018, writers are much less plentiful than twitters or texters, unless the writers forego adjectives, adverbs, and all articles in their works. Full-length novels will be approximately as long as this post.

In the future's frugal economy, readers download their reading material from free websites on every topic imaginable and not illegal or censored. Royalties for authors are extinct, but webmasters earn nice salaries. Books, unless they have sentimental value, are bought and sold for fuel or insulation.

Poetry enjoys a great revival, especially Soduiku, a numbers puzzle and Haiku hybred artistic expression that requires excellent math and word skills, and can be completed on sandy or dry soil, smoothed, then drawn with a stick.

Electricity is more valuable than gold, as the lifesblood of wire circuits connects people to meaning and expression.

In the year 2018, almost half the members of Congress never read a complete bill in its entirety, only thumb through the 'pages" looking for illustrations.

In the year 2018, ultraviolet and other damaging rays from the sun dim the eyesight of 75 percent of the world's population. Helen Keller enjoys a revival on aural recordings. Moles are popular pets.
In 2018?? Maybe more like 2028 :)

And I thought that was already the norm for many members of Congress :P
The pleasantest of all diversions is to sit alone under the lamp, a book spread out before you, and to make friends with people of a distant past you have never known.--Yoshida Kenko, Essays in Idleness

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