Dan Silva is the Editor-in-Chief and Partner at ZOVA Books and the Director of Creative Development for ZOVA Inc., the parent company of ZOVA Books. Dan has edited a wide range of subjects from marketing books to educational workbooks. Now he has found himself back where his heart has always been, fiction. Dan brings a keen eye for detail and discriminating ear for talent to the ZOVA team. Combining many years of writing and management experience, Dan is responsible for the creative direction of the company.
The publishing is changing. On the surface, to readers it may seem no different than ten years ago or even twenty. They go to a bookstore (though there are fewer around) or they purchase books from an online source such as Amazon (though even this is a more recent phenomenon). How books are acquired, designed, and printed prompts little interest in readers’ minds. Readers just want books, good stories to read. Technology has turned the publishing world on its head. We live in a world where information is at everyone’s fingertips and possibilities are endless. This is both frightening and exciting at the same time.
The publishers of old, the big houses that have been printing for over a hundred years were once the gatekeepers to publishing success. Their submission policies were strict and selective, making it difficult for writers to be noticed. Writer’s waited for the publication of the newest addition of Writer’s Market so they could plan out a submission strategy, viewing the directory as an almost secret weapon to their publishing success. Query letters were mailed and writers waited by the mailbox . . . and waited. Sometimes, never hearing anything back.
Today, the big houses don’t hold the key anymore. The creation of ebooks, digital publishing, and self-publishing has opened the door to countless more writers. Social media marketing websites now make getting the word out about writers and their writing easy. Blogging gives writers the chance to share their thoughts and stories with people all over the world instead of just relying on friends and family to pat them on the back.
For many this is great news. No more waiting by the mailbox (what’s a mailbox?), no more wondering where to send manuscripts, and no more looking for a platform to tout stories and writing. These options have been opened up to any and everybody who has access to a computer and the Internet.
The flip side to this: These options have been opened up to any and everybody who has access to a computer and the Internet. This means the industry is saturated with writers and would-be writers. Anyone can self-publish and have their work available to purchase. Anyone can submit their work via email/website/etc. With the click of a button.
This presents a few questions for writers: Is my writing good enough? Who do I send my work to first? Do I circumvent traditional publishing and do it myself?
A few questions for readers: With all the subpar books available, which ones are worth reading?
I’ll touch upon these subjects in my next posting.