Let’s Chat: Is There a Future in Publishing for My Generation?


let's chat

“Let’s Chat” is my Discussion series on Willa’s Ramblings, where I talk about things on all topics – life, books, music, and pretty music anything under the sun! Please let me know in comments or on Twitter what you think and let’s chat!

Today on “Let’s Chat”: Is There a Future in Publishing for My Generation?

“So, Willa, what are you wanting to do as a career?”

“I want to work in book publishing. Specifically publicity, and for young adult books.”

(Cue their surprised face) “Do you think there will be an industry for that still?”

That is the conversation I have with almost every adult who has ever asked me about my career path.

And quite honestly, I’m a little tired of it.

I think a lot of people have this idea in their head that the publishing industry is disappearing. This partly was brought on, I think, after the success of e-books and the onslaught of newspaper articles on the topic, many of which suggested that physical books would become obsolete. The other part was the decline in the newspaper industry and the reading of paper newspapers. I’m obviously not an analyst, but I think those are the two major players.

I completely understand why people have this belief, because hey, once I thought it might become a reality too.

But the thing is, publishing is a lot bigger than the paper copies of fiction books you find at the bookstore or the library.

Publishing encompasses every single book you find. Cookbooks, health books, test workbooks, music books, diet and fitness books, art books, how-to books, fiction books, board books for kids, middle grade, mysteries, romance, science fiction – those are all books. They all involve having an agent, an editor, a marketing team, a publicity team, a sales team, and a group of people who work on the design of your book. Plus the countless other jobs involved in printing a book. And those are just the physical copies. E-books involve people who code, the people who develop the digital edition, the same editors, marketing and publicity team, and the sales department that tracks how the book is selling. Most importantly, they all still involve someone writing a book.

Just because the format of a book may change and become something new, doesn’t mean the entire industry is going to go up in flames. E-books involve the same cast of characters, just without the printing, and with coding instead. Countless people are still employed, and the same amount of books are coming out.

I’ve seen the blogging industry morph and take a new shape in the wake of e-books, with the invention of NetGalley and Edelweiss revolutionizing the way reviewers receive advanced reader copies. Publishers have begun to favor giving e-ARCs as opposed to physical ones (in my experience), especially for blog tours. But my blogging “job” has in no way been harmed – in fact, the ways I can be successful at reviewing and obtaining new material has grown exponentially.

I don’t think publishing is going anywhere. I believe as long as human kind is around we will crave stories.

Which is essentially what publishing is about – sharing stories. (A world-wide story time!)

So, yes. I do think there will be an industry for my generation to come in to.

I’m obviously not an authority at all on the subject, so this is just the way I understand it. I’d love to have some more input and for people to inform me on the topic – share your knowledge! Tell me your thoughts – what do you think?