16 Jun Legacy publishing vs. the speed of light
Almost a year ago to this day, I sat in a publisher’s office and signed my first publishing deal. It was for a little book that I had penned and originally released as an eBook.
The publication date was slated for 1 May 2012. The rather lengthy wait was intentional – since it was thought that my book would best appeal to the tourism market, it seemed silly to be launching it when the summer was almost over (a bit of time was obviously needed for the design, proofreading, etc).
Well. It is now the middle of June 2012, and the book still isn’t out.
The process is enormously cumbersome. There are lots of people involved. Those people have lots of other projects on the go. Things get shoved aside. Mistakes get made. Things have to be done again. And if they have to be done again, it’s not just a matter of uploading a new copy within seconds. No – it’s a matter of throwing away a lot of dead tree material, and starting over again with lots of new dead tree material.
In short, it feels completely dinosaurian.
Meanwhile, I just got my first Kindle a couple of weeks ago, and am totally smitten. I’m even a bit taken aback by my own enthusiasm – I didn’t think I would be so awed by it. A large part of it is my amazement at how I can get a book delivered INSTANTLY, without even having to DO anything – old Amazon has already synced the device with my account, so when I click the “buy now” button on the website, the book is already on its way to my Kindle.
All of which makes my abovementioned publishing experience feel a bit like a wooden horse trying to keep up with a race horse. Which begs the question: is legacy publishing already dead?