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Trends in the Publishing Industry 

I was fortunate enough to take part in a writer’s conference in October, and during that conference was able to see a panel discussion on the changes happening in mainstream publishing. The panel consisted of editors for Harlequin, Tor and Penguin.

I’d like to share with you three things I learned because I think they can be applied to any writer, whether mainstream published or indie like myself.

  1. No matter how you publish, you the author hold your career in your hands. You have to take care of yourself, the publishing house won’t be doing it a la 1985 standards. As the author you need to engage in as much social media as you can, BUT the heart of it all is still a good book. (One of the editors pointed out that she had turned down an authors second book—they had already published her first—who was great at social media, but wasn’t as focused on her craft and that showed in her writing.) Once the work of the book has been finished, the author HAS to don a promotional hat, even when they are with a mainstream house. So all of you who are gunning for a mainstream contract because you don’t want to do the work that all the indies have to do on your own . . . think again.

  3. While the mainstream publishers ARE still looking at indie’s as possible new authors to work with, to get in with the mainstream houses is increasingly difficult. The best answer I could get out of them was that the last person Harlequin signed had sold over 30k copies of her book in ONE WEEK. That’s a lot. So as an indie, don’t be expecting anyone to come knocking on your door unless you can make those kind of sales (free downloads don’t count, folks).

  5. Trends in Romance: Harlequin is looking for New Adult with different spins. Meaning they don’t want the college good girl/bad boy scenario which has been WAY overdone (in her opinion). She is looking for things with anti-heroes, psychological thrillers (think Breaking Bad).

So, there you have it, straight from the . . .er. . . horse’s mouth. I hope this helps, hope it gives you some ideas, as it certainly did for me.

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