We’ve said it before: publishing is going to be all right. Maybe it’s because we talk to so many publishers, from upstarts to the establishment, but we are always coming across signs that publishing is becoming way more interesting than it used to be, as big players stabilize for a new era and green shoots come up so profusely it’s hard to know which ones to pay the most attention to. With this in mind, we present this week’s three reasons, drawn from disparate parts of the publishing ecosystem, to join us in believing in publishing again.
1. Via galleycat–trade publishers did better in 2012 than in 2011, with ebooks more than making up for decreased sales of adult hardcover books and with children’s/YA sales up dramatically.
2. Via Submittable’s hometown newspaper, The Missoulian–telecom professionals quit work, make a nice living writing essays, and start a publishing company to help other people do the same.
3. Via The Millions–Fiction is the new Detroit; long live Detroit! (and fiction):
I guess what I am calling for is the literary equivalent of “rightsizing,” in the lingo of urban planners. The concept suggests that we reclaim cities by returning them to their core functions, by shedding the sprawl that doomed them in the second half of the 20th century — the same cultural sprawl that has diluted American fiction…Detroit’s automotive industry has come back: not enough to return the city to its halcyon days, not enough to heal the scars of its decline, but certainly more than doomsayers would have expected a decade ago. It has done so by becoming leaner, smarter, no longer peddling Hummers, thinking of green energy and efficiency as more than just the fads of coastal elites. Publishing will have to do the same thing if it wants to save the literary city. It will likely have to look at smaller presses that are publishing less, but editing more, that are repacking classics in unexpected ways, that are finding ways to beat Amazon at the ebook game.
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