Well, it’s officially 2023! Back in 2020, we weren’t sure we’d get here, but here we are. It seems like we’ve found our new normal. It’s weird, but, well, I’m trying to look, as Monty Python says, “on the bright side of life.”
As such, I’m looking ahead to the coming year with lots of exciting changes afoot.
But first, a little insider background on the publishing industry.
For those of you who don’t follow all the ins and outs of publishing, our industry is, to simply things, divided into two factions: traditional publishers and indie publishers. Trad features the Big Five (who almost became the Big Four last year until the DOJ stepped in). The Big Five have long acted as gatekeepers: the theory being that only the best books get published.
We all know that’s crap, but bear with me.
The whole book industry is built around that assumption. Bookstores, online retailers, libraries, the list goes on. More gatekeeping.
But the indie revolution changed the landscape. As indie authors and publishers gained ground, new voices emerged that proved the gatekeeping was really, as gatekeeping is wont to be, oppressive.
Indie publishers are constantly fighting to find ways to allow more voices to be heard. WMG has long been on the front lines of that fight.
But the gatekeeping infrastructure is pervasive. It’s not enough to publish independent voices; we must also be able to allow those to be heard by getting the books to readers. Selling through retailers means going through gatekeepers. As we’ve already established, gatekeepers hinder. Those gatekeepers keep changing the rules.
So, how do you circumvent the gatekeepers? You cut out the middleman. What this leaves us with is direct sales.
WMG has already been investing in various direct sales delivery methods. Our Kickstarters are direct sales. So are our subscriptions (such as the weekly Every Day’s a Holiday at WMG newsletter). And we’ve long offered ebooks for sale directly on the WMG website.
But this year, that last is getting a big upgrade. We’re moving to a Shopify store to enhance and streamline our direct sales to make it more convenient and easier to navigate for our readers. (That store officially launches tomorrow but you can click here to get notified as soon as it’s live!)
We hope you’ll consider this new store as your go-to place to buy our ebooks. Because when you buy the books from WMG directly, you’re directly supporting the authors who write and edit them—that would be the two writers who own this company: Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith.
Those are the same two writers who give back so much to other writers through all the workshops they teach.
Speaking of workshops, another new thing we’ve done for this year is enhance the wmgworkshops.com website to make navigating our enormous catalog much easier. Want to know what workshops allow you to study directly with the master (aka Dean)? We’ve got a tab for that. Looking to enhance your craft or change your attitudes about writing? We’ve got tabs for that too. And every workshop listing now has a link directly to that workshop on Teachable.
Check it out here.
And we’re just getting started. So many exciting things ahead.
Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.