I love looking back and reading the articles that came out when e-reading first got huge and digital self-publishing first took off. It makes me think back to all the proclamations about the Titanic: “God himself couldn’t sink this ship!”
A little overconfident, were we?
At the time, supporters and critics were loud and proud about their own proclamations about reading:
“It will be the death of paper!”
“This will never catch on…no one will read on a tiny little screen!”
“Self-publishing will destroy the gatekeepers of the publishing industry, the Big Six will die!”
“No one is EVER going to make any money as a self-published author…who will read their CRAP?”
Luckily, we were all wrong. More than any other major shift in any other industry, I feel pretty confident that this is one of those rare times when everyone’s needs are met, when there is certainly something for everyone and room at the table for every book. Readers have made their choice, print or digital, and there seems to be a nice even split for the two. The Big Six (Big Five…Big Four-and-a-Half…whatever) are still strong but they are slowly adapting to a model that is changing right in front of their eyes. And while superstar self-published authors are only a handful, they are definitely there; while most self-pubbed authors will never retired to their beach homes to spit out new novels from their lounge chair, something even better has happened. The authors are happy. Their work is available, and no one told them it wasn’t worthy.