Ten Changes in Book Publishing: A Guest Post by Author Rayne Hall


Happy Hump Day, everyone! As you probably gathered from Monday’s post, I’ve not been much in a blogging mood … or writing mood in general. So lucky for me, Rayne Hall had a guest post up her sleeve to share with me today. Since so many of my followers are published and pre-published authors, I thought it might be fun to share her ten changes in book publishing list. Maybe you’ve noticed the same things. Let’s find out!


by Rayne Hall

  1. In the past, most authors worked for editors. Today, most editors work for authors.
  2. Most books went from author to agent to publisher to distributor to bookseller to reader. Now, more and more go from author to distributor to reader, cutting out most middlemen.
  3. To be commercially viable, books had to sell enough copies to finance a big publishing apparatus. Now, many need to pay only one person: the author.
  4. Agents and editors acted as gatekeepers, ensuring that poorly written books did not get published. Now, it’s the authors’ responsibility to ensure their books are as good as they can make them.
  5. When books were printed, wordcounts were critical. Nowadays with ebooks, lengths are flexible; only quality counts.
  6. Once a book was published, it was too late to correct errors, change the cover or tweak the blurb; any improvements had to wait until the printrun had sold out. With ebooks, anything can be changed any time.
  7. Many publishers prevented communication between readers and authors. Today, direct reader-author communication is encouraged because it sells books.
  8. Mixing genres used to make a book impossible to sell. Today, genre cross-overs sell just fine.
  9. Writers used to spend much time courting agents. Now they spend much time courting readers.
  10. ‘Previously published’ used to lessen the value of a story. Nowadays, it’s a quality mark.


Meet Author Rayne Hall

Rayne Hall has published more than fifty books in several languages under several pen names with several publishers in several genres, mostly fantasy, horror and non-fiction.  She is the author of the bestselling Writer’s Craft series and editor of the Ten Tales short story anthologies.

She is a trained publishing manager, holds a masters degree in Creative Writing, and has worked in the publishing industry for over thirty years.

Having lived in Germany, China, Mongolia and Nepal, she has now settled in a small dilapidated town of former Victorian grandeur on the south coast of England where she enjoys reading, gardening and long walks along the seashore. She shares her home with a black cat  adopted from the cat shelter. Sulu likes to lie on the desk and snuggle into Rayne’s arms when she’s writing.

You can follow her on Twitter where she posts advice for writers, funny cartoons and cute pictures of her cat.


26 thoughts on “Ten Changes in Book Publishing: A Guest Post by Author Rayne Hall

  1. Definitely been noticing those changes. Makes me wonder what’s going on with agents though. I hear about the changes happening with authors, publishers, readers, and editors. Yet, I never hear about the effect the redirection is having on agents. Are they seeking out clients or slowly fading away? I keep seeing publishing companies requiring that you have one to submit your book, so I guess they’re still around.

    • I’ve been hearing agents are hurting since they have fewer clients seeking them. I heard they are using Twitter to hunt out clients and having to be more active in obtaining them. I heard it hurts to be an agent right now. But yeah, like you said, they are still around.

      • Exactly. It does stink having to do everything yourself. Teams make everything better, but sometimes you’ve gotta grab the bull by the horns and do it yourself. lol

      • To be honest, I’m not really sure. I think you gather people on your Facebook Author page and get them to gather more. Then you post information for them to spread like cover reveals, giveaways, or anything that you think will garner interest in your book. My luck with Facebook tends to be terrible, so I never got very far.

      • My luck with FB is the same way. My WordPress and Twitter friends are a lot more reliable. But then again, my family and friends don’t realize how book marketing works so they just hit “like” when I post about my book. lol.

      • I’ve found the same thing. WordPress and Twitter get more attention, especially since FB made it harder to see things. My family and friends rarely hit like. I have maybe 3-5 that I know will come through. That’s not counting Internet friends though. Just talking about those I’ve know since before I entered the publishing world.

  2. MRS N, the Author

    Yes, I’ve noticed those changes too! Another change is that many traditionally published authors are now flocking to self-publishing. They love the freedom and control of being an indie author. Great post! 🙂

  3. even us writers have days like that, than we mentally run away, admire our surroundings, look at the trees, nature, people, places and our mind is back in the writers world, just like that.

  4. Great post! I’ve noticed those changes and personally love the direction it’s going. It’s opened up a bunch of new avenues for writers. Also, I highly recommend Rayne Halls books for those who haven’t read them. Her book about Twitter for writers is especially helpful.

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