The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Saturday, July 26, 2003

(blogathon 2003)
Publishing is a tough game these days, whether your in the skin trade or not. The book trade is crying about their troubles, despite lot of high-profile success stories.

Book publishing is a field I've kicked around getting into. I even lined up some freelance editing assignments a couple of years ago, but had to give them up. Freelancing might be a more viable option these days, considering the publishing houses are laying off staff.

In today's synergistic media landscape, books still play a key role. Within the context of other media, books serve as source material (the bestseller that gets made into a movie) and corollary product (the post-movie novelization book). Even without those connections, books are a prime information/entertainment media; I'd like to think there'll always be a market for them, even if it's not on paper (e-books, audio books, etc.).

I guess the issue is, can publishers justify paying millions of dollars in advances for the latest hot-topic book? I'm always skeptical when ownership cries wolf over stuff like that; there are all sorts of post-publication revenue streams that you seldom hear about that, I suspect, more than cover advance payments.