Publishers, just like any other business, must keep up with changing tides in order to stay relevant, and as the demand for easy technology grows, the industry is increasingly turning towards audio and digital in order to survive.
What started as a clause in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 to protect the infringement of copyrighted works, such as movies, books and music, has blossomed into a full-fledged debate on who owns, who can modify, and who can repair the products consumers purchase. These products can range from cell phones and cars to children’s toys and ebooks, making it almost a certainty that everyone has at least one DRM-protected product in their home. The companies who place the DRM on these products can control who uses, modifies, and distributes the copyrighted works and products.
The appeal of audiobooks lies in their ability to give someone the experience of a novel within the always-on-the-go lifestyle that our culture has embraced. Prior to the wide availability of audiobooks, for many there simply isn’t enough time in the day to sit down and read a book. A book’s greatest strength, its ability to allow one to escape from reality, was also its greatest weakness, as it meant that time couldn’t be spent doing other things.
Will Self asserts that the great literary fiction novel is falling from popular demand and will only continue in society as a source of entertainment for a select few. History preserved in the present, like “easel painting or classical music . . . a subject for historical scholarship rather than public discourse.” In a world where big publishers absorb smaller publishers at an alarming rate, I’ve started thinking perhaps he’s right, but what is an aspiring publisher to do?
Every day there’s another story about how Amazon is changing the marketplace, and not just for books. Because I think we ignore Amazon (and others) at our peril, I turn to “The Shatzkin Files” to stay informed.
Before we publish a title, we must determine if it will actually sell; to do that, we need to compare the title with similar books that are already on the market. That’s where comparative (comp) titles come in.