RIP Book Publishing



The big book publishing houses have set the rules since 1947, according to Dan Poynter, but those days are over. Poynter is a self-publishing guru who has been his own writer, editor, publisher, distributer and marketer since 1969, and what is most impressive about him is the way he has kept up with market trends and technologies over those 40-plus years.

I heard him speak tonight in front of more than 100 writers in Culver City at a session of the Independent Writers of Southern California. He was easily 10 years older than half the crowd but far more tech savvy than 80 percent of the population. 

“Don’t sell your books in [brick and mortar] stores,” he quipped. “They won’t be around to pay you for them.” 

Poynter’s specialty is non-fiction publishing, and that is how he has made his living — writing books on skydiving, hand-gliding and now self-publishing. Silver-haired, clean shaven and nattily dressed in a suit with an actual silk handkerchief tucked in the pocket, he seems to actually be one of those people who has turned his passions into a career. And he’s happy to help others get there as well.

His advice was geared toward non-fiction writers, and as an aspiring mystery writer, I found some of his assessments of the industry’s future very grim. People who are 18-25 years old don’t read, he said, so don’t write a book and expect them to buy it. Beginning of the end of long-form fiction, I wondered? Maybe I should channel my energy into a screenplay. After all, I do live in LA.

Oh, and the final grim statement–there are 145 million blogs. *sigh* How many readers are there? 


No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Oklahoma Girl Scout murders

The summer of my eighth birthday was overshadowed by a grisly crime made all the more harrowing because of its child victims. On a humid and rainy Sunday in June 1977, the idyllic memories of summer camp I had shared with my friends shattered into shards of horror when three …

Los Angeles
Trade-offs of dental school care

In 1999, I landed a job that offered excellent medical benefits with one hitch: no dental coverage until after the first year. Perhaps I could go without dental benefits for one year? It seemed a calculated risk worth taking, my then-husband and I thought. We were enrolled in his¬†medical plan, …

God of the Internet Book Signing

My¬†book signing Saturday at Book Soup in West Hollywood drew a great crowd of friends and fans. What a treat it was to be on such hallowed ground on the Sunset Strip, appearing just days after Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson and a few days before Girls’ creator Lena Dunham. …