Sean Cranbury 2009 in Review: Recoil!

Our guest blogger for this post is Sean Cranbury, the intrepid book lover behind Advent Book Blog and Books on the Radio. When Sean’s not fighting lions, tigers and bears in the wilds of Vancouver, he’s fearlessly finding new ways to promote great books.

The word that best sums up 2009 in book publishing to me is recoil.

Everywhere you looked people were recoiling in horror and apprehension as the digital revolution continued to make serious inroads to print publishing.  Mr Murdoch raged from the mountaintop and all trembled accordingly.

The wave of petroleum products, er, I mean, eReaders crashed ashore bringing with it the familiar scent of uncertainty.  The argument that these immediately obsolete chunks of single-use plastic were somehow better for the environment brought with it another familiar smell.

It was a year of idiotic public pronouncements by people who are ostensibly leading this industry.  The CEOs of major publishing houses stood on the battlements and sternly awaited the arrival of the pirates, armed with itemized work orders for a fleet of lawyers prepared to charge hourly sums fit for a king.

And if the pirates didn’t like that then how about delayed eBook sales windows! What are you gonna do about that, pirates? Huh, eh?  Hello?

But where were the pirates?  Why weren’t they crashing to the shore in their digital dinghies and pillaging the kingdom before our very eyes? 

How could Dan Brown’s publisher turn a profit during such a dastardly time?

Isn’t the industry supposed to be on the brink of total collapse?

Thankfully 2010 doesn’t need to be this way. 

2010 is an opportunity to learn from the suffocating atmosphere of 2009 and move forward with confidence.

Print, web, social media, multi-media, mobileyou name it, it’s going to happen in 2010 and beyond.

Engage it.  The readers are out there.  More than you think.  Awaiting new stories told in new ways.  Awaiting old stories that will spark imaginations.

The word for 2010 is momentum.

You’re not going to be able to stop it.