Guest post by Kim Curran, as part of the Delete blog tour.
If I had to answer this in a single word, I guess that word would be uncertain. There are absolutely no guarantees in YA publishing – something I learned only too well when my publisher went out of business. But I genuinely think that’s a good and exciting, if sometimes terrifying, thing.
The shift away from traditional publishing has opened up new and exciting avenues for authors. Self publishing has become a totally valid option for authors, such a big change from just a few years ago when it was looked down upon by nearly everyone in the industry.
The dominance of Amazon means readers can get any book they want, any time. And while it breaks my heart to see bookshops under threat, the democratisation of the books is a powerful thing – with unlimited space of the Amazon book bunkers comes unlimited choice. And authors and publishers have to work even harder earn the right for readers’ hearts and wallets.
This uncertainty is forcing authors, agents and publishers to remember who are the most important people in the entire process. The readers. The days when publishers or booksellers thought they knew what was best are long gone. And that has to be a good thing.
Social media is holding people to account like never before. Diversity is being championed with infectious passion in every corner of the internet, encouraging the YA publishing industry to re-think the voices they champion and the range of people they represent. Some authors find social media a scary place and it can be at times. But I believe that it’s overwhelmingly a force for good.
But to balance out all of this insecurity, there’s a growing community of YAUK authors, bloggers and readers. And that community is a wondrous, warm and welcoming place. YA readers (adult and teenager) and writers are among the best and most brilliant people I’ve met. And even if it can be an unsettling time to be writing, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
And because I’m feeling a little pretentious today, I’ll end with a Voltaire quote:
“Uncertainty is an uncomfortable position. But certainty is an absurd one.”
Thanks Kim for sharing your thoughts, I reckon we’re all feeling warm and fuzzy now. Delete is the concluding part of Kim’s Shift series and you can read my review of the first book here. Please note, the description below may contain spoilers for the previous books if you haven’t read them yet! So scroll on quickly to the giveaway to win a complete set.
The country is at war. Beset by enemies within and without. And all because of the decisions changed by one boy, Scott Tyler. In this ravaged alternative reality, Scott hardly recognises himself. He’s a war hero, a leader of a unit of Shifters and maybe the only one who can prevent the country’s frail defences from crumbling.
But all Scott wants to do is find a way back to the world he knew, without losing the girl he loves. With every Shift he makes, Scott edges closer towards oblivion. With no one to trust – not even himself – how much is he willing to risk to get home?
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Sunday 5th March
Curiosity Killed the Bookworm – What it feels like to be a UKYA author right now
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