The Future of Genre Fiction

I wondered in a recent post whether e-book fiction might be the new "mass-market paperbacks", judging by the titles on the NYT e-book bestseller list.

A story in the Guardian, Four self-published authors on New York Times ebook bestseller list, by Alison Flood, quotes Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords, "We knew this day was coming. Self-published ebook authors are landing on the New York Times bestseller list in a big way [and] lightning struck multiple times this week."

The  first comment to the story is perceptive.
What's interesting is that most self-published authors who gain any kind of success - and it's a tiny fraction of them - immediately sign up with a publisher.
But another commenter to the story, David Bridger, links to a keynote address by "paperback writer" Stephanie Laurens at the 2012 Romance Writers of America National Conference, Weathering the Transition - Keeping the Faith.  Interestingly, for Laurens, the current transition in publishing is not primarily to do with e-books.
You might think I mean the transition from print to digital, but no - while the shift from print to digital consumption is a major driver contributing to the critical transition that's causing the upheaval in our business, it's not the critical transition itself - which is the migration of readers from buying offline to buying online. Whether they buy print or digital doesn't matter - it's the fact that readers access our works online that's key, because once a reader is buying online, the author can reach that reader directly, and that alters one critical segment of our business irreversibly.

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