Rough Seas for the Publishing Industry

If you keep up with the publishing industry like I do you’re aware of the growing uphevel. You could say that the storm has been brewing for a while but it hit a dangerous level the end of last year when Amazon announced it sold more e-books than conventional book during the holiday season. Apple added it’s own bit of turbulence with the introduction of the iPad and it’s iBook store. Not only did Apple offer a larger percentage for the writer (70%), it also encouraged writers to sign up for its store. I read where one literary agency announced it is taking the old books of it’s authors directly to Amazon instead of the traditonal publisher route. And more articles are appearing that indicate the bastions of the major publishing route for writers are conceding the their stance against self  publishing.

What does this mean for the writer? Well I see it as an exciting time for a resourceful person. E-book portals give writers direct access to readers. The cost of books are less but the profit margins are higher and a writer doesn’t have the same overhead costs as a major publisher. With the right Print On Demand partner you can produce books for sell directly. With e-books you may be able to do it all yourself, which saves you even more money. If the writer is a main stream published writer he or she can realize the best of all worlds, publishing mainstream while self publishing rejected works or personal projects via e-books.

Of course there are drawbacks. Publishing your own stuff means selling and marketing it yourself, too. And access to the marketplace still won’t sell a book if it’s bad or the public is not interested. Still, it looks like e-readers are having the same effect on the publishing industry as mp3s had on the music industry.  I envision a scenario where mid level writers who take advantage of the opportunities will gain, while the big advances paid by the majors will diminish because of the competition. Mid level writers may also find their books appearing as e-books initially until the book proves it has legs and is worth the investment for hard copy. So many challenges. So many opportunities.

Changa the movie?

I believe every writer at one time or another imagines his or her novel or short story  as a movie.  The reality is the chances of a book becoming a novel are slim to none, but it does happen usually at the expense of the true meaning of the book. But still we dream as I did when I wrote Changa’s Safari. I  imagined the story of my world traveling 15th century merchant as novel, graphic novel, video game, RPG and movie.  But let’s stick to the topic. In a perfect world here’s my list of actors to portray Changa and his talented cohorts.

Changa – Michael Jai White

My first choice for bwana Diop was Michael Clarke Duncan. I love him in movies where he got to play the ancient big dude sidekick (Scorpion King) but I wanted to see him in a starring role. But then I saw this guy and said, hey, he even looks like Changa! He’s also an excellent martial artist, which gets my vote because I used to be quite skilled in hand to hand combat back in the day. He also will attract the ladies to the theater, which is essential if we plan to make a billion dollars.  I actually hope he sees this blog; it might spark a few ideas. What do you say, Mike?

Panya-Genevieve Nnaji

I learned about this beautiful Nigerian actress on another site I frequent, www.blacksuperhero.com. In my perfect world I would select actors  that reflected the ethnicity of the characters they portrayed. Since Panya is Yoruba, selecting an actor from Nigeria would be essential. I have no idea about her acting ability and I don’t know if she’s Yoruba but I know she’s very popular in Nollywood. I’m sure she would be excellent. Just imagine it; a black leading man and woman. Amazing.

The Tuareg – Adewale Akinnouye Agbaje

The Tuareg is to Changa as Legolas is to Lord of the Rings. He’s a silent butt kicking man that handles two swords like a deadly dancer. His face is completely covered except for his eyes. Which is why Adewale would be perfect for the role. His eyes are very expressive which is how the Tuareg communicates with Changa and the others.  Adewale also had the physique to play my mysterious character. This ‘movie’ is getting better by the minute!

Mikaili – Forrest Whittaker

Forrest was not my first choice to portray the wise and experienced Ethiopian priest turned navigator. I think Danny Glover or Louis Gossett Jr, would be good choices but they’re a little to old to do some of the things Mikaili does and be believable. Forrest would demand big money so I might not be able to afford him, but then again this is the dream world so what the hell.

Prince Zakee – ?

It’s here where I ran out of ideas. In trying to stay with ethnically specific actors and I don’t know of any Arabic male actors in their early twenties.  Of course they’re out there. I just don’t know them.

So this is my dream team. After I release Changa’s Safari I’ll do the same thing for Changa’s villains. I already have a few folks in mind but revealing them would give away some of the plot. Feel free to make your own selections once you’ve read the book. I’m interested in who you would pick.