I have spent a long time preparing for this day. Not really because it is a difficult day, or the task at hand is difficult. No, I have spent a long time deciding how to ensure that our publishing company is ahead of the game with regards to the more traditional giants in publishing. Interestingly enough, it came to me while walking around the street of Derby, pondering on how the industrial revolution became a revolution and not just a small fizz in the giant explosion of change in society. Freedom of speech. The UK allowed the exchange of ideas and thoughts already from the beginning of the 18th century. People could talk, and discuss, and critique. It was not regulated, it was spontaneous. So the key is knowledge. We can only change the world with knowledge and openness. I want to change publishing, not the standards or the quality, but the availability. I want the quality and the standards that are prevailing today but I want a faster and smoother reaction time to what the readers what. Amazing how many bestsellers are a surprise for the big publishing companies, while I sit here, with my wonderful group of youth writers showing surprise that they did not pick it up. Ok, I do a lot of work in futures and trends but still it is there if they just looked a bit closer and listened to the readers. Too many me-too books out there. Instead of commissioning five me-too books, they should listen to the readers, scan the internet and the social media and see what is in vogue at the moment. Well, anyway, my mission is not really to change the big publishers, but to change publishing as an industry and make it more attuned to what the readers want.
Fantasy, though still being read, is no longer in. It is a bread and butter subject, not a caviar and champagne subject. There is a market for short stories, and sci-fi is coming in strong, many because sci-fi are good as short stories. There are always many themes going on at the same time, of course, but sci-fi is one of the main important “main-stream” genres in my opinion. Horror and “non-regular” stories are also in, as are the stories of the supernatural, though they have been in for a long time and I guess, will continue to be so. Humour is in, and escalating. A good thing, as a world without it is grim.
Anyway that was a sidetrack. I will try and add, on a daily to twice daily basis, more information about publishing and how it works. The more people understand about it, the more we are able to change it, and bring the industry into our century. So if you have questions about publishing, let me know. I will most probably not know all, but I can find out. I will post links to statistics and to news. So keep the questions coming.
As Eric gets our site into shape, I will also be able to chat live. And those of you who have access to our social media platform, do speak with each other.
Hugs to you all