A Gathering Storm: Self Publishing With Ebooks

I wanted to share links to two blogs I follow and get your thoughts on the matter.

I personally feel that a fundamental shift is occurring in the publishing industry. I don’t think bookstores are all going to disappear. I don’t think traditional publishers are going to disappear either. And if we choose other publication venues, we will still need editors and typesetters and designers to make a book the very best it can be.

But I do feel that we are at the edge of a storm which is gathering strength, one which will empower authors like never before. Not the kind of storm which destroys, but the kind of storm which brings much needed moisture and cool air, enabling crops to grow. As long as the industry adapts, this will be good for everybody, especially authors.

http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2010/09/konrath-ebooks-sales-top-100k.html

http://blog.smashwords.com/2010/09/smashwords-publishes-20000th-indie.html

I look forward to you sharing your thoughts.

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A Gathering Storm: Self Publishing With Ebooks — 7 Comments

  1. Any reason to doubt this figures?

    “For each $4.69 ebook they [Hyperion] sell, I earn $1.17. For each $2.99 ebook I [self-publish] sell, I earn $2.04.” (Konrath)

    “Publishing with a traditional hardcover publisher got you 10-15% royalties. With a paperback publisher, that was 6-10%. With Smashwords, you get 85% (or 40-60% through their distribution partners). You can make the same amount of money selling fewer copies.” (smashwords)

    So, as far as your future book sales go – the BIG QUESTION is – have you sold the rights to your ebook(s)?

    The 2nd question is – how much do ebook authors pay their editors, typesetters, and designers? Does it get paid up front or do you offer a percentage of royalties?

    Oh- and I can hardly believe you’re offering WATER and other stories for free. Put a price on it. See how it sells. I love the cover!

    You’re blazing a trail that I plan to follow, Daron. I’m so glad you’re dropping bread crumbs and sharing the journey in your posts.

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  3. While self publishing via e-book is an interesting concept, I’m not sure it will really take away the stigma associated with self-publication; it will just be easier to get published.

    Too many people I know fantasize about being a writer but don’t put the hard work into studying the craft and improving their prose. The second they type something (an unedited first draft), they think it’s worthy of publication. I’m afraid that those people will flood the market.

    The majority of talented writers I know HAVE found a publisher somewhere to accept their work whether it’s a newspaper, a magazine, etc. Finding a publisher is part of the hard work that goes into being a writer; it’s the exact type of work dreamers aren’t interested in doing.

    Maybe I’m a pessimist because several self-published works I’ve read have been terrible–poor spelling, grammar and diction. I’m also old-fashioned in thinking that you should get paid for your work rather than fronting the money yourself. IMO, the potential to lose a lot of money is too high.

  4. Sharon, thanks for the comment. I do have my rights on The Thorn and all future works, so selling the ebook on Smashwords is easy to do. As for the short story collection, I intentionally did not put a price on it because it actually has a mention of the novel in two places in the ebook. Since it started to be downloaded, I have noticed a constant slow trickle of preview-downloads of The Thorn. I am hoping that they will convert to sales once those people get hooked on the story. Thanks for asking!

  5. While I agree that there will be a flood of self-pubbed books with poor spelling, grammar, diction, etc., I also believe that the opportunity for success really isn’t any different than traditional publishing. You still need a good editor. You need a good formatter to get the text to flow on the page well. And you need a good cover to catch the reader’s eye.

    For my series, The Chronicles of Gan, I am breaking away from traditional publishing. Yet I am using the same editor. And the same typesetter who did the print novel assisted with the ebook. He will also help me re-do the typesetting on the second print edition when we do print-on-demand. So for me, what is the difference? Absolutely nothing. Except that I have full control of the rights.

    If writers educate themselves, go to writer conferences, do the hard work to get these professionals lined up and assisting, they will produce a quality product. And with diligence on the marketing and distribution side, I think they can be just as successful.

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