Festival of Writing 2015 Segment Seven: Futurecast 2015
It’s always a good feeling to wake up early in the morning after a late night to find there is no hangover lurking in your head. No smug reminder dancing around inside your skull and turning your stomach into a circus, putting you off the very nice breakfast that awaited.
And on Sunday, I’m glad to say, I did not have a hangover!
The first session of the day was a panel discussion about the future of publishing for the next year. With author Claire McGowan in the chair, the panel was made up by Agents Sam Copeland and Philip Patterson and authors C. M. Taylor and J. S. Law and writer and self-publisher David Gaughran.
It seems over the last few months that the panic over the digital revolution is dying down with both print and digital books selling well side-by-side. The shape of publishing will continue to change, though. Houses are merging and growing but authors themselves are becoming more entrepreneurial and developing their own ways of publishing and selling books. Some are even going further and telling their stories through new means of interactive media, including computer games and applications. Writers are constantly experimenting with new technologies.
Do writers need agents to sell well? Ninety nine percent of the top five hundred authors are represented in the publishing business. While some self-published books do sell well, these really take off when a publisher backs them and an agent is needed to help the author through the business side of things.
So, it seems that while people tell stories there will always be publishers. And people will always tell stories as they always have.