Michelle Wittle On the Future of Publishing

Michelle Wittle On, Writing Tips

This is a piggy back blog on Beth Kephart’s blog about what others are calling the end of publishing (http://beth-kephart.blogspot.com/).


Like Beth, I won’t stop writing either. I refuse to believe that the publishing world will become a small elite group of two that only the top names will get a pass code to come in. People will always want books. Sure, with the advanced technology, there are books for your IPOD and that dumb e-book thing. I am sorry, my friend has one of those and I think it is the dumbest thing in the world. So what if he gets to carry around 150 books in the palm of his hand! I am not one to want to stare at a screen for four hours or more at a time. I can read a book in a day and there is no way I want to sit there starring at a small screen. Besides, what if I want to highlight something or mark off a cool phrase? How can I make a comment in an e-book? A book will never run out of “juice”. How frustrating it must be to sit down on a park bench with your e-book thingy all set to read when suddenly you realize your battery is about to die! Lastly, I love trophies. Every time I read a book that really means something to be, I find it in hardback and display it on my bookshelf. Books are my trophies.


That is why I refuse to believe that the publishing world is imploding. Sure, it has its problems, but I just think writing and books withstand trends. Computers make the writer’s lives easier, but how much would you be willing to pay to have notes written by your favorite author about their book in their own handwriting? I still carry around a journal with me and write down notes in my own hand even though I have my light as air Macbook computer.


I am not a writer for the money. I am a writer because I want to tell my story and the stories I see in my head. I want Sam and Mark to be proud that this crazy woman who has infested herself in their lives has become the thing she wanted to become. I want them to be able to walk into a bookstore or pull up a website and see my name and know that it is okay to follow your art. I want them each to be able to hold my words in their hands and be able to hear me speak to them when the time comes and I can’t (I think I am dying when I am eighty and like a small skateboarder will run me over). I want my dad to look down from Heaven and see his daughter’s books being sold. Again, I don’t write for money. I write to create a trophy for the entire world to hold in his or her hand.


Is it hard to get published? Yes, but nothing in this world that is really worth it is easy. We can’t just give up and let technology destroy books. We must continue to write and at whatever cost, continue to fight to be published and be heard. 


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