I receive the electronic version of PW Daily from Publishers Weekly and lately there have been lots of annoucements about folks who've lost their jobs at publishing houses and some of them are editors. So tough times have hit all of us.
This isn't the only evidence of cost saving moves at publishing houses. Even the big guys are starting to use Print-On-Demand (POD) something that was considered tabu not that long ago. Truth is that POD is a very cost-effective way of producing books and printing only those books that readers want to purchase. Blend this with the availability of electronic books and the green effect is dramatic.
As the major publishers began to use POD it was mostly refered to as short press runs, but the processes were effectively the same. The quality of POD has increased dramatically over the years and given the current economic strife POD is finding a much broader audience. Ironic isn't it? Ironic that it took a financial crisis for elitist attitudes to be humbled into accepting such a process. But this isn't the first and only time. I often say that money makes the world go round and it's amazing what changes will take place when money does the talking.
When I first started reading romance novels, most people looked down on the books as well as the readers. Granted, some of the novels were wanting of substance but so are lots of other passtimes or other forms of escapism. But enough of them were well worth the read and hey they brought lots of happiness to lots of people. Fast forward to today and more romance novels are sold than any other genre and business is booming. So, not so many editors at the publishing houses with this genre seem to be getting pink slips.
Message to publishers - keep those happy endings coming and readers will help you keep you bottom line healthy, even in tough times.