Everywhere I turn these days, whether it's a writer friend's blog, or the professional blog of an agent or editor, or a writing magazine, I read of the doom and gloom surrounding publishing. It's depressing. :( So stop it already! I don't like being depressed!
While I understand the fears of many writers, and have read many interesting articles on the topic of publishing, there really isn't much that the writer can do but wait and see how it all plays out. Digital, print on demand, e-books, print books, Kindles and other reading devices, it doesn't matter, the written word will be around for years to come. I feel there is an overreaction like, "The sky is falling, the sky is falling!" Psssh! Just go write another damn story. And make it the best one ever.
None of us need to become dinosaurs. We have to fight dinosaurism. It's a very contagious disease, and believe me, the older we get the easier it is to catch it. We have to continue to learn, to understand, and stay abreast of the changes. We have to be technologically savvy. We need to accept advice, look for alternatives, weigh the pros and cons, and then move forward. It's all about moving forward, and who better to understand that than a writer of fiction?
And we don't need to explain our decisions, or actions, to anyone. Not friends, not family, not writing chapter mates. Just do what feels right. Do what makes you happy. Do what brings you a sense of fulfillment. And if all of that means swimming around in a little pool instead of the big one, do it, just plan on being the best damn swimmer in your pool. Self publish, e-book publish. It's all good.
New York print publishing houses will always be around, but also remember they've always been selective. The risks are greater for them today than in years past. While they've always been disproportionate in how they've distributed advances against royalties, we have to remember the top earning authors who get those big bucks are the ones that keep the house afloat and allow more risk taking for we lesser mortals. The big houses have there own agenda, we just have to make sure we have ours and don't live in perpetual dreamtime. Along with the dinosaurs.