Ok. What we know is this: traditional publishing will never again exist as it did, essentially anyone can publish anything themselves thanks to the digital culture and eBooks (hey, look at my “published” blog!), and there is a battle raging between the two spheres.
Publishing is dying. Publishing is thriving. Publishing is changing. Publishing is dead. Publishing is evolving. I know a lot of those statements are just contradictions, but this is what I continue to read and hear about the industry. From what I gather, traditional publishing is struggling, but it is certainly not dead nor is it going to die. It just has to change, and so many changes have already been made.
Can the two worlds come together and learn to co-exist? Does one have to dominate the other in order to move forward? Is it possible to use the word “publishing” too many times in a post?? (Forget that last one…) Traditional publishing is a well-oiled machine, while self publishing is still learning to walk. Some of the most obvious issues with self published works is what they lack from not being traditionally published: strong editing, copy editing, credentials, backing, that all-over published sheen, if you will. On the other hand, self publishing and indie publishing companies are all about what the power houses often overlook: the author.
When considering all of this, I went the faithful Google route and came across a 2012 article in USA Today “Publishing is dead — long live publishing.” How perfect, right? Obviously, the author is writing about a specific niche of eBooks, but his overall thinking is in line with what is becoming clear in the traditional vs. self debate. We all have a lot to learn from one another. No killing needs to occur.