#IWSG, Wednesday July 1, Writing in the Next Decade

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Hello everyone!

Welcome back to yet another month of the IWSG, a wonderful support group for writers where you learn and grow; where your craft is not limited to a space or region and where you adopt global methods and trends. If you are a writer of poetry, short stories, prose, novels or just a writer, this is the place to be. You can sign here and join the group.

The aim of the group is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
The awesome co-hosts for the July 1 posting of the IWSG are Jenni Enzor, Beth Camp, Liesbet @ Roaming About, Tyrean Martinson, and Sandra Cox! Do visit them right away!
Before I move on to the question, I’d like to thank all those who made time to download and read my eBook which was available for FREE all of June at the Blogchatter platform. My next option is to take it to Kindle, something I’m not exploring right now. I want the book to rest a while, having removed it from every available platform now. I plan to focus on learning the writing craft better in the coming months before I can bring out version 2.0 or maybe something entirely new!
Now for this month’s question and I’m happy talking about it!
July 1 question – There have been many industry changes in the last decade, so what are some changes you would like to see happen in the next decade?
I’ve only been actively writing for about four years now and my blog will turn two in September this year. I have only viewed the writing industry as a reader for long and I think the most remarkable change I have seen over the past years is that a commendable number of people have been able to get published. However, with Self-publishing and going Indie, the other edge of the sword is that so many people have taken the plunge without being well prepared for it. The hurry, the urgency to see yourself as an author and the money this desire has allowed some publishers to make, has somehow caused serious harm to the writing industry. I can say that for my part of the world, at least. Then, the increased pressure of sales and mixing of the writing craft with marketing strategies has caused some seriously good writing to go unnoticed.
A publisher recently told me that it’s a bad idea to go for eBooks because traditional publishers hate eBooks. If there’s one thing I’d really like to see in the next decade, it would probably be traditional publishers taking kindly to eBooks and finding their writers there rather than the cumbersome process of not accepting unsolicited manuscripts. I have discovered some beautiful and well-written eBooks on various platforms that so deserve to see a paperback edition.
At the same time, the way the market is flooded with writers presently, I also fear that in the next decade writing may cease to be a craft and may just become an amalgamation of so many things that aren’t necessarily about writing. What do you think?
Till we meet again, keep safe and take care! Keep writing also, for you never know!


57 thoughts on “#IWSG, Wednesday July 1, Writing in the Next Decade”

  1. Hey Sonia.
    I’m glad I set the morning aside today to catch up on my favourite blogs.
    I understand your concerns and questions about the future of publishing. That bit about ‘The hurry, the urgency to see yourself as an author ..” is spot on. That ‘hurry’ is usually detrimental to ones craft.
    In the decade or so of writing for my pleasure and every now and then sending a piece out to publishers and always (except once or twice) getting rejected has taught me this: The joy of writing is the reward. Everything else is a game we play in the unclear/murky/confusing land of ‘recognition’. As my bread and butter doesn’t come from my writing, I can afford to take this approach. I understand the complexities to eke out a living from writing (like any other art form) is a huge challenge.
    Thank you for putting your thoughts out on the subject so clearly.
    Warm regards

    1. I too hear you Arti. I also wonder how many really think of getting their bread and butter through writing or any other craft. It’s a long walk before you can think of that. As you say the joy of writing is the reward.

  2. We’ll need to see how we go. Ebooks may provide more of an in route to traditional publishers, who basically have to gamble on the costs of printing for an unknown author. With more and more self-publishers, it will only get harder to get noticed and all the marketing becomes more of a distraction from doing good writing.

  3. Saibal Barman

    You have laid open an interesting aspect of social shift of paradigms…..the comcept of self-publishing has gained considerable momentum to break the system entropy in publishing industry, I am sure….when we used to gather up fund to even get a quarterly magazine just two decades ago, we had to calculate its cost-efficiency and sale prospect too…..the ebook has made the market competitive and liberal..
    Yes, there are more writers than readers today, but trash writing was always there as were trash readers in our youth and I never feel that it has tilted even a little negatively; rather the readers have wide choice to select and read books at lower cost, which has empowered them to be balanced in opinion too…
    Self-publishing too has pros and cons, but it pays more to writers with true ability and the industry in India may turn one of most vibrant ones within a few years
    Best wishes

  4. Damyanti Biswas

    The industry is going through changes again now… Let us wait and see how it goes.

  5. Hi, I totally respect your views, and as a matter of fact agree to them too. Publishing industry has gone through a lot of changes and as you said there is a constant disapproval by tradionals for ebooks. Also, as a writer I feared the rush of publishing too. There was a constant dilemma before I decided to publish my first book. I wanted to do it but the fear of becoming just an unrecognised indie author or worse, to be labelled as someone who just wanted to see their name as an author overpowered me. At the end choices were made, but I understand what you are talking about and would certainly feel so much better if judgements were not passed soon enough, or if ebooks were just as accepted among everyone, because let’s face it, they have become affordable, accesibile. I ended up finding a solution and got both paperbacks and ebooks for my poetry collection, but it was another hassle altogether. I suggest Keep writing, you have an amazing audience here, and your creation is beyond brilliant. You will excel someday.

    1. Thank you Moushmi for adding your thoughts. I agree we need to take that plunge sometime. Maybe I’ll do that too. But the issues with publishing continue to be persistent.

  6. Competition, competition … yes that is what capitalism has done to society. Keep doing what you do, writing what you write, you have an audience out there. It may take time. The reward is in creating not cashing in.

  7. Your analysis is spot on, Sonia – and you pose some good questions. I’m hoping the flood of poorly written/ badly edited books is resolved – too many good books getting swamped, or manuscripts not getting seen. Are ebooks a two-edged sword?

    1. Yes Roland absolutely. All of the present scenario is. I will keenly be watching how it goes from here, specially after the present world crisis.

  8. You’re right about the positive and negative sides of self-publishing, but I think the positive will win in the end. The indi publishing is still new and struggling to find its footing, but it’s a move in the right direction. I’m sure of it and I’m going to join in.

  9. Yes, the market is flooded with writers that I worry about the balance between readers and writers. If everybody is writing a novel, who’s going to read all these books?
    Then there’s also those who feel the urgency to publish and compromise on quality in the rush to get the product out there. It will be interesting to see what the next decade brings.

    1. I think you both have captured the setting with the term “urgency.” It is hard for newcomers to accept the length of the process. Some get around that length, but not many. I wonder what percentage of poor work was only lacking time.

  10. Traditional publishers hate eBooks? Really? Hmm…considering it’s where they make the most money now and how there are small presses who started out as being eBooks-only and big publishers now have digital-first imprints, I’d think their attitudes would be changing.

  11. I agree with your points here. I’m so glad that self-publishing is no longer the pariah, but greater access has flooded the market. I think also the National Novel Writing month has an effect too. I think it’s a wonderful way to get motivated as a writer, but now it seems everyone is writing a novel. And maybe those first drafts need to sit a little while longer.

    I don’t know what’s ahead for publishing, but I would like to see all writers respected more by the publishing community.

    Thanks for a thoughtful post!

  12. “the pressure of sales and mixing of the writing craft with marketing strategies has caused some seriously good writing to go unnoticed.” This brought me to a halt. You’ve expressed one of my greatest frustrations, Sonia. The mix you mention as well as the sheer number of books (some excellent, but some very bad) have turned the publishing business into a confusing flood of choices. Thank you so much for this post.

  13. Hi,
    For any concrete change to take place between the traditional and the self-publishing world, both sides will have to acknowledged the value of the other. Right now, instead of pulling together, we are pulling against one another.
    All the best.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

  14. I’ve read several outstanding novels from friends who should have been on the bestsellers list. You’re absolutely right. Publishers need to change their old ways.

  15. Trads might hate e, but they’re making a bundle on it. Have you noticed what they are charging for their e books? Yikes.
    Self-publishing is a double-edged sword for sure. Definitely pros and cons. Overall though, I’m happy as an Indie author. Thanks for this thought provoking post.

  16. You’ve echoed my thoughts Sonia! I wish traditional publishers would take their heads out of the sand and wake up to the importance of going online- it might encourage an improvement in the quality of writing too!

  17. This is a really good, really true reflection on the state/future of the industry. I am totally agreed on eBooks. While I love print books, it feels more ecologically responsible especially for smaller print runs to skip the print part. I think we will see more of this.

  18. I started writing about a decade ago – and that feeling of switching from a reader focus to a writer focus was a fascinating one! I took most of that decade to learn the craft and experiment with various genres and age categories. There’s so much to learn but I’m finally ready to jump into the publishing pool!

    1. It’s a journey Jemi. I do get that. I’m not even saying that people mustn’t write. It’s great to have books, many books. You’ve done well. Good luck with everything.

  19. I think ebook platforms have helped and changed the industry, but as you noted, there are problems with it. I think that many “hopeful” writers are daunted by the numbers and the competition, but It is still possible to write and write well. Persistence in the long term still works.

  20. Self publishing is both good and bad. It’s a great opportunity for many, but unfortunately some take advantage before their work is ready for release.

  21. Thanks for sharing this. This would be a great help for lot of people out there. thinking about reality, it’s a pain ofcourse with lot of writers population, I concern too about the future of writing. In the end, it’s a passion for most of us. Passion should not be feared with competition. Enjoy doing what you love and let the world spin as it always does. ✨😊Have a Wonderful Week Sonia 💐

    1. Hi Simon. Yes the reality is harsh and it takes a while to accept it but as you beautifully put it, passion must not be confused with competition. Cheers!

  22. I share your concern about the future of writing. Anyone and everyone is a writer nowadays. Ebook platforms and other similar ventures have made that possible. But quality has suffered tremendously in the process. We have so much substandard stuff being promoted by peer groups. I’m not saying that people shouldn’t write. But I do worry about the stuff that gets to be ‘popular’.

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