The topic of my talk at the Y-City Writers Conference (this past weekend) was "The Future of Publishing."
While I talked a bit about tech and gadgetry, what I really focused on was how much power writers now have in deciding what their future is.
Meaning: Now, more than at any other time in history, there are more opportunities and possibilities to write, share, and publish a story—and interact with an audience.
Are you passionate about the print experience of books? You can totally ignore digital editions, and live up the physical. These authors have done that successfully.
Are you tightly knit into a region or place that would treasure your stories? You can write and publish successfully, building on strong community ties. Read this author's story.
Are you after the traditional publishing experience—the professional partnerships of an agent, editor, and publisher? You can still have that, too. Maybe it's not easier than before, but the option isn't going away. It will still be there if you want it. Here's an example of one author who decided she DID want it. (And here's another example.)
If you go back 20 or 30 years, you were extremely limited in your options. There was often only one way, and it meant pleasing a gatekeeper.
Now, you get to decide. What kind of experience do you want? What kind of experience are you willing to work for? Perhaps, if anything, there are too many options—creating paralysis. Writers don't know which path is best.
Evaluate your personal strengths. Evaluate the nature of your work and
how it is best presented. Evaluate what your audience wants. Find that sweet spot to know how to move ahead.
Finally, don't forget: "With great power comes great responsibility."