Bennett R. Coles on Publishing panel
Now in its 37th year, VCon in Vancouver, Canada, held an impressive number of events focused on authors this year, and Bennett R. Coles was pleased to be a participant in two.
On Friday night Coles gave a talk to a full house of aspiring authors on how best to approach agents and publishers.
Saturday morning proved the most revealing, however, as Coles joined two other long-time authors and a pair of publishers in a panel discussion called "Publishing in the Twenty-first Century". Far from the wildly-divergent opinions one might have expected from this diverse group of experts, however, the panel members were eerily consistent in their opinions of how the publishing industry has changed in even the past five years. Although their experiences described were unique, the panelists agreed on the following key points:
1) it is much harder than ever now for new authors to get accepted by the traditional channels;
2) ebooks have had a profound effect on the industry, but the print book is far from dead;
3) all authors, no matter what method of publication they use and no matter how long they've been published, are now expected to do all their own marketing and promotion;
4) the only certainty now in what was once a staid, predictable industry, is change: as Coles put it, "it's the Wild West out there in publishing" to the emphatic agreement of his fellow panel members.
I have read considerable military SF by master authors like David Weber, Michael Z. Williamson, David Drake and others, and Virtues of War is at least their equal.