In the good ol’ days, an author would sell his or her book to a publisher (often with the help of an agent) and expect that the material s/he delivered would be edited by his/her editor and that the publisher would then publicize, advertise and sell the book to the best of its ability. Up until about ten years ago, all of these things did happen in for the most part – with some editors being far more hands on and some publishers being much stronger in publicizing, advertising and promoting the books on their list.
Authors today are discovering that all of the roles have changed, and rather dramatically. Agents often have to act as editors, authors have to be their own publicists and promoters, editors act as the overall publishers. It is no longer enough that an author has written a strong proposal or a terrific manuscript –s/he must have a substantial platform and very solid credentials to be published.
All of this can be fairly depressing, especially for the author. Recently though, I discovered this very clever piece which I think says it all, and I thought, “Well, at least we can laugh about it.”
I guess in the end, as with everything else, change is inevitable. Over this last decade, authors and everyone else involved in the publishing process seem to be adapting to these new roles and for the most part, making them work. And so we proceed….
I wonder how you are feeling about your new role in the publishing process? Have you noticed the changes? Are you affected by them?