The Publishing Landscape is Changing

Welcome to Artist Entrepreneur Fridays, where we focus on a topic from the business and strategic perspective. This week I have guest post from Matthew Ashdown, Book Promotion Specialist with FriesenPress, a fee-for-service self-publisher.



By Matthew Ashdown – Book Promotion Specialist with FriesenPress

We have been watching quietly the effect of the recent decisions about the US debt and it’s effect on the worldwide economy. We have witnessed people becoming more wary about investing in the publishing of their books. Will there be a market? Will people buy my book? These are questions to consider even when there is no market crash, but their importance becomes more obvious in times like this.

Anyone who has remained calm in moments of fear such as is enveloping the US right now have found creative solutions to the challenges they faced. Three years ago we witnessed an economic downturn. Back then people panicked. The publishing industry experienced changes, but as you can plainly see it has not gone away. The landscape has merely changed form.

After the last downturn we saw spending habits change. More and more people turned to ebooks for their reading pleasures, something that many of us book lovers have had to come to terms with. A recent article in the New York Times states that “It is also noted that publishers, many of which have expanded in recent years, are experimenting with multimedia products that go far beyond the traditional print book”

“Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain.” – Mark Twain

In these times of uncertainty we are being called to face our fear of the unknown. When your vision for where you are going is big enough, your fears will be mere pebbles to kick from your path. Keep that in mind as you move forth.

Here are three things that you can do today!

1)    Instead of contemplating the fear, think of the smiling faces who will read and be inspired by your book. Allow that to become more important than the fear. Remind yourself of this daily, commit to your success, and don’t entertain thoughts of failure.

2)    Don’t hang around those who are fearful or don’t believe in your book. Spend time with those who are more optimistic and taking steps to move forward and who support the idea of your book. We can all find those people! We may just have to do a little house cleaning along the way.

3)    Action, action, action, even in the face of the very fear. As we take action, as we meet the fear head on, we can transcend any fears that present themselves. We build faith every time we accomplish something we thought we could not do.

4)    Be flexible. Be willing to adapt to the changes in the industry. Those who are willing to bend and go with the changes will be most likely to be around in the years to come. This also means using your imagination – maybe you don’t have the finances/time to publish a book now, but can you begin a blog? A diary? How can you further your dreams within your means?

So, in this time, it is essential to remain calm. If you are heading into the world of authorpreneurship then this it is essential. The businesses that thrive are run by those who find creative solutions in the very situations that most people run from. They meet their fear with their courage.

And when I say vision, keep it flexible. Many still talk of their vision of being on Oprah, even though that boat has sailed. Who knows, maybe NY Times Bestseller will be old hat in the near future. That is why thinking of the smiles is best.

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  • Alica says:

    When ever I start to feel over whelmed I remember advice I got from a friend what ONE thing can you do today that will help. It’s all about taking another step forward. Great post- thank you

  • Beth Barany says:

    Alica, Glad you like it. Matthew’s advice is encouraging. At the end of the day, all we can do is take action and do the next thing, whatever that is.

  • Matthew Ashdown says:

    Thanks for the comments ladies. I am often inspired by Richard Branson and his attitude in times like this. Just today a house of his burned down, while his family and friends were staying there. He remained calm, and I think his attitude speaks volumes. “It’s very much the Dunkirk Spirit here,” said Sir Richard “We will rebuild the house as soon as we can. There’s a lot of damage but we’ll create something even more special out of the ruins.” I believe that with this kind of attitude we can and will build an even more special publishing world and we are the writers who get to be there in this time of change.

  • Beth Barany says:

    Matthew, What a touching and telling story! You’re inspiring me to read up more on Richard Branson as a model. We all need role models in the fast-changing world. THanks again for your article! I look forward to the next!

  • Matthew Ashdown says:

    Richard Branson has a couple of autobiographical books, so he is an author to top it all off. His whole motivation for all he does is to allow more fun in his life. Seems like a perfect match for this page 🙂 I look forward to passing on more articles too!

  • Beth Barany says:

    Matthew, Yes, you’re right! I didn’t know that about Richard Branson’s mission. Now I’m doubly curious to learn more about him. Maybe in your next column for the Writer’s Fun Zone you could drop some of his wisdom into it, or not… just a thought!

  • Matthew Ashdown says:

    I would be more than happy to! There are many insights from him that would be valuable to others. Thank you for the invite for this blog too.

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