I had the pleasure of attending the London Book Fair earlier this year. Not only was it an amazing opportunity to meet a lot of authors, I also had the chance to look at the industry and get a feel for where this publishing world is moving. I attended a lot of seminars and talks, most of which were geared toward self-publishing. It was funny to see how the traditional publishing seminars didn’t mention the self-publishers and the self-publishers didn’t really talk about traditional (though they certainly mentioned it in passing). But the feeling was different from each.
The traditional seminars seemed to skirt self-publishing. It was the elephant in the room. I managed to attend a seminar called The Changing Face of Publishing with a panel made up of people involved with traditional. They never said the word indie. But I felt it there. Creeping in the corners of the room, hiding in the shadows like a monster. It was there for sure, they just never acknowledged it.
The self-publishers mentioned traditional as the bigger brother who is there but who we can work without. They gave advice on how to make it in the traditional world; they talked about being hybrid authors. They didn’t ignore the other side, they just spent most of their time talking about indie and making it in publishing in general.
I’m not saying one is better over the other; I just noticed this trend, this feeling. I can’t conclude that it means traditional is going under without recognizing their main competitor, because honestly they seem to be making changes that benefit the author and work more toward a better system. And to each his own. There are benefits to both.