Preparing for change.

First, read these links. I must say I love seeing an industry professional be honest. Rachelle Gardner takes three posts to compare the bankruptcy of Kodak to the publishing industry. The questions underneath are discussed more in depth on Rachelle’s blog. Click on the links.

Do you know what business you’re in?

1. We need to correctly identify the business we’re in.

2. We can’t be afraid of cannibalizing our own businesses in the short run to make progress in the long run.

3. We should find new ways to generate revenue while serving consumers’ wants and needs.

Do you know your customer?

4. We can acknowledge that the customer has considerable impact on the market.

5. We shouldn’t underestimate the public’s willingness to adapt to new ways of doing things.

6. Focus on our consumer’s needs and wants, rather than the perpetuation of our own products and business models.

Are we ready for change?

7. The time is now (or three years ago) to begin changing and preparing for future more cataclysmic changes?

8. If we’re not flexible and open to change, our business will be overtaken by upstarts.

9. It’s crucial we stay well-informed on technology and consumer trends, and develop plans to effectively respond to the ever-changing information.

10. We must keep asking questions, and do our best to make sure we’re asking the right ones.

And what we must remember is that it’s not only the publishers that must prepare and change for future events. What about the content providers? You know, us, the writers, the authors.

I’ve already had to make changes, and I’m continuing to think about the future and what else possibly might need to change.

What do you think?

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22 Responses to Preparing for change.

  1. Heather Sunseri February 17, 2012 at 10:51 am #

    Yes, Laura!! You’re so right, and Rachelle’s blog series was excellent. Kristen Lamb wrote an interesting post this week on the same subject.

    I do think writers have to be more than ready for the changes that are happening way too fast.

    It’s an overwhelming industry at the moment, but the upside is that writers have more technology and options available to them than ever before.

    • Laura February 17, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

      Yes, I read Kristen’s too. I just wonder what most writers/authors are thinking about all of this. Most aren’t saying anything.

  2. Natalie Aguirre February 17, 2012 at 12:22 pm #

    I didn’t read the blog posts but you summarize it so well. It’s so true that we all have to be willing to adopt to change here and in life in general. That’s an understatement in my life. In about 2 years my company is closing and I’ll have to find a new job, probably with a career change, after over 25 years. Yikes!

    • Laura February 17, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

      And I feel like at times that the people who are flexible and change with the change are better off in the long run. But I could be wrong about that. That change could mean different things for different people.

  3. Sheri Larsen February 17, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

    Thought-provoking post as always, Laura.

    I believe in publishing, as well as life in general, we must remain open to evolution. Change can be difficult but also productive, pushing us and our world to grow.

    There’s my positive tip for the day. 🙂

    • Laura February 17, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

      There’s always doubt and angst during a big change. This seems to be no different.

  4. anne gallagher February 17, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

    Funny, I hate change, and as I’m adapting to it, you can hear me kicking and screaming the whole way. Although I know it has to be done.

    What I don’t understand is why New York doesn’t adapt to the new publishing model. (The zillion dollar question.) E-books are here to stay yet NY still clings to the old ways. I guess it will all come out in the wash.

    • Laura February 17, 2012 at 7:38 pm #

      I don’t understand either Anne. I’ve thought about Kristen’s idea before. A publisher just having an ebook line and then go from there. But I also don’t understand how hard it is to create that change. I’m sure there are committees, and boards that have to approve. Who knows?

  5. richard p hughes February 17, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

    I’ve already embraced the change. I’ve been adapting to it for a year now, and I’ve never been happier. I’m sick of the old hierarchy and dinosaur mode of book-making. Yes, physical books are beautiful to hold, touch, and feel, but electronic books are taking over for a lot of reasons. What the book publishers need to do is to figure out how to work with the thousands of writers they reject simply because they don’t think what we’re writing will be the next Da Vinci Code. I’m rambling, but, hey, the publishers have brought it on themselves.

    • Laura February 17, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

      Best of luck to you!

  6. Matthew MacNish February 17, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

    The only constant is change.

  7. Patti Nielson February 17, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

    I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately as well. Especially about number nine. I often feel like I’ve missed the bus when it comes to some technology. It’s definitely something I need to work on.

  8. Jill Kemerer February 17, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

    Rachelle’s series was excellent. I’ve been tucking all of this info from the last 18 months back into my brain and letting it simmer. Thanks for the round-up!

  9. Stacy February 17, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

    I think it’s very interesting. It’s still a bit hard for me to give up the idea of an agent/NY, but I just don’t think it’s the smart way to go now. Why wait years when you can publish with a good small press or go your own way? In this day of rapid change, it just seems like taking a chance on NY could kill your career before it really starts.

    And I think both Rachelle’s and Kristen’s posts were excellent.

    • Laura February 17, 2012 at 7:42 pm #

      Stacy, No one said that giving up what you thought was your dream – the agent, the book deal – would be easy. It’s extremely hard. But yes, spinning your wheels for years is a career killer. Each writer/author has to try and look objectively at their work, find betas, and publish when they think they are truly ready.

      • Stacy February 18, 2012 at 1:04 am #

        You’re right. And really, the dream has changed. I’m not sure if my dream agent begged me tomorrow to sign that I would do it. I’m just very unsure of traditional publishing right now.


  10. Susan Oloier February 17, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

    I absolutely love change–unless it is something extremely negative. Who knows what the future of publishing holds. It’s exciting, though. Interactive books will surely be a part of it, though.

  11. Alex J. Cavanaugh February 18, 2012 at 2:04 am #

    And it’s all changed so fast!
    Wonder what Kodak is doing these days…?

  12. Leslie Rose February 18, 2012 at 5:37 am #

    Publishing changes are dizzying. You’ve been a great help in trying to sort it all out and stay on top of the reality. Thanks.

  13. Kris February 19, 2012 at 11:23 pm #

    Interesting. Always good to be flexible, and prepared. Like a good Girl Scout. 🙂 I think it’s important that people don’t see changing their dreams as giving up on them. Still important to persevere, and write the best book possible–no matter which path you choose.

  14. Lisa Green February 20, 2012 at 2:09 am #

    These are all great questions. If only we could see the future. *sigh* Making our craft as good as possible can never be a bad move at least!

  15. Lynda R Young February 20, 2012 at 3:49 am #

    I’m curious, what changes have you made as a content provider?

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