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The old - a centralized industry with a finite number of publishers, each able to promote a "stable" of authors or select a tiny number of newbies. On occasion, an author would interact with readers in controlled venues, especially bookshops. Publications were in hard cover and paperback. Profits went to local bookstores, publishers and authors. Authors were paid. They did not pay for editing, graphics, printing and marketing.
The new - anyone can publish a book. The book can be listed online along with the 129,864,880 books Google has identified. Now the retailer (Amazon) is king of the mountain, deciding which books to promote and controlling a vast book market as an increasing monopoly (without revealing its data). Authors are now encouraged to interact with readers online, in coffee shop readings, and other public venues. E-books now supplement hard and soft covers. In e-books, pricing does not reflect the obvious reduction in printing cost, ostensibly so writers can earn money. Part of the profits go to Amazon and the author, but now the author is expected to pay prime amounts for editing, graphics, marketing, etc. In that way, despite any revenue from book sales, the notion of profit is absent. Frankly, the money a writer invests in one of the vaunted self-publishing houses is more than absorbed by the cost, and seldom is it possible for a writer to profit.
But this isn't a fair comparison. In the same way that self-styled visionaries predicted the end of literature with the advent of comics, end of newspaper with the advent of radio, end of radio with advent of television, etc. - the emergence of one medium does not necessarily mean the crippling of another. (One exception - sound motion pictures definitely stomped out the old silent films.)
The publishing industry does continue as before, and authors continue to have the same limited opportunity to publish there, albeit with some changes. For example, the university presses used to select and publish manuscripts and make profits from selling their books. Sadly, they now require professors to pay fees even to be considered. And, as before, agents and publishers favor the known authors, sadly neglecting the possibility that a new writer might emerge. In fact, if a writer is to become known, the best strategy is to persist in worthy efforts, not to pay editors and marketers to promote a first book. Most importantly, the writer needs to "walk the talk" by working in an area of interest. If the writer has integrity, the true opportunity lies in promoting their book as part of their life work. And this, fellow writers, is the challenge of our times.
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