As an aspiring, but not yet published writer, I was thrilled when my friend Harriet Welty Rochefort invited me to attend an Authors evening of the Anglo-American Press Association of Paris (AAPA). The panel discussion addressed the practical questions and issues related to book publishing, along with the evolution and consolidation going on in the publishing business.
Gerry Dryansky, Harriet Welty Rochefort, Peter Gumbel
Each of the seven panelists shared opinions and war stories, touching on copyright issues, contracts, royalties, translation, and movie rights. Opinion was unanimous that writing books will never make you rich - but all continue to write no matter the return.
Discussion was brisk regarding the challenges and opportunities presented by electronic publishing. Kindle royalties may be lower, but the reading public may be far more likely to download a Kindle version with less forethought than that required to go to a bookstore, order a book, and then wait. Instant gratification sells books!
Self publishing, marketing and the use of social media represent huge changes in the publishing business. Authors can no longer expect traditional publishers to take full responsibility for book sales. If you want your book to sell, you have to evolve with the times and to take some responsibility for getting the word out.