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?