Literary agent Rachelle Gardner

The publishing industry is rapidly changing. There are different startups, new e-readers, and self-publishers becoming millionaires. Literary agent Rachelle Gardner looks at the past six years and just how much things have changed in the publishing world in a post on Books and Such.

One of the most revealing statements from Gardner was just how much her views on self-publishing changed.

I wrote posts back then about how there was a stigma to self-publishing and I warned writers against it— if they wanted to be taken seriously. Now self-publishing is a normal and accepted option for writers.

Perhaps this is one of the biggest changes. It may even be that the turnaround in the perception of self-publishing is the reason that everything has happened: the explosion of e-readers and then tablets, digital distributors, and the rise of e-books. Perhaps that is stretching a little bit, but the changes are definitely there.

Here are some of the examples Gardner points out:

– The closing of Borders was an epic blow to the industry, many independent bookstores have closed, and pundits frequently discuss the future of Barnes & Noble.
– Several small publishers went out of business; even larger publishers are at risk with the bankruptcy filing of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2012.
– E-books grew substantially in terms of their proportion of overall book sales, and the percentage of people owning e-readers is continuing to rise.
– The price of books became a huge issue as the low cost of self-published e-books and low publisher promotional prices began to affect consumers’ willingness to pay full-price for books.

It’s interesting to see one person’s view on of things have changed in such a short time.

What are some of the changes that you have noticed in the last six years?


  1. Yes, evidently digital technology has shaken up the publishing industry. There needs to be an awareness of other potentially game-changing technologies out there. For instance, the WHY Code ( is focused on capturing the answers to the fundamental learning questions of a reader, automatically indexing and publishing information from a text in this format. This enables people to understand information far faster than under conventional methods of knowledge publishing.

The TeleRead community values your civil and thoughtful comments. We use a cache, so expect a delay. Problems? E-mail