55327_girl-writing_mdSo now it’s really easy to publish. A lot of the overhead that used to plague the small press is gone with the advent of e-books, and now there are opportunities everywhere. The small press is thriving, where a few years ago it was in danger of dying out. If that’s not immediate enough, you can upload your own content to sellers like Amazon in just a few minutes.

So, the opportunities are wonderful, but are there problems with it? Of course there are. The main one is a glut of content, way more supply than there is demand for reading material. Interest in reading seems to have declined in recent years. While the number of publications is growing, there’s more competition from other directions, like social media, films, games, etc. The next problem is in quality of the material. In 1999 about 90% of sales were from the top 20 publishers, but by 2015, they’re starting to feel the pressures. At this point, maybe 80% of books offered are from self or small press publishing. The result is that big publishers are cutting costs, and what’s likely to go first is editorial and marketing services. It’s becoming more common to see grammatical and coding errors in books, even from top publishers. With fewer literary agents and editors to screen out sub-standard material, it falls to the reader to sort through what’s available to find something that’s well-imagined and well-written.

This is an ongoing train of thought. More on it later.