I’ve just responded to a question on my blog regarding the shocking news re Borders and A & R having to close their doors, but I think this topic is serious enough to write a separate message. In my view, the publishing industry as a whole is in turmoil, with the growing popularity of e-books and readers, with more and more people ordering their books online, and also because authors (like me) are turning to alternative publishing outlets. I believe there are going to be great changes in the industry over the coming years, affecting authors, agents, publishers as well as book sellers. One of the changes already in place is that print runs are getting smaller so rather than books being stockpiled in warehouses, they’re going to be printed on demand through the various publishing houses. This means that, so far as all my books that are published by Random House are concerned – ie Ghost Boy, the Shalott trilogy and the first four Janna Mysteries – they will still be available from all bookshops as Print on Demand orders. The downside is that many books on a ‘backlist’ won’t be on display in bookshops. This is a problem because, if you don’t already know about the book, you’re unlikely to order it – because how many of us buy books only after we’ve picked them up and had a look? Another downside is that you’ll have to wait for your order to be fulfilled. It’s more cost effective for publishers, but it doesn’t work so well for authors. Hold on to your hats! I predict it’s going to be a bumpy ride!!

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