Friday, August 27, 2010

Stackpole on eBook Publishing and Me on ePublishing in General

Here's a fine article on negotiating electronic rights with an actual publisher, not a self-publishing contract with Amazon/Smashwords/iStore. So, take note, this doesn't directly apply to self-published material.

http://www.michaelastackpole.com/?p=1626

Solid info. I particularly value the advice on translations. I would not have considered this.

He's right. We're in a seller's market from the writers's standpoint. A big motivator behind this change is readers buying stories for half to a quarter what publishers need to charge for them. Note the word 'need'. Save it for later.

Plus, the writers can see more cash go straight to their pocket. In this way, it becomes possible for authors to make a living in their chosen field.

It never made sense to me that many professional writers can't afford to write full time. Farmers farm. Teachers teach. Police police. Carpenters... carpent. You know what I mean? Writers, in comparison, work IT, or instruct at the university, or blog, or a hundred other occupations, few of which have anything to do with writing.

How did we get here? Lots of reasons, which is a good topic for another post for when I'm riled up. A forum-goer from Absolute Write (who is herself a rather successful non-fiction author) said it best: "Most money spent on marketing doesn't go to getting the book in front of consumers". This comment stemmed from a discussion of high book prices and low author royalties.

Doesn't that seem counter-intuitive?

Remember 'need' from earlier? You need cash to get the book to reviewers. You need cash to get the distributors to stock it. Heck, Barnes & Noble charges a cool six figures for front-window space. Hey, it's their space, right? Why not charge to get the book good placement? It warms my free market heart. So does Amazon brutalizing B&N in revenues.

Innovation heads industry. Improving availability, distribution, or price can lead to a significant profit in any business. Epublishing does all three. I note no one is arguing the first two points. The money is where the battle is waged, and consumers wield all the power. They're voting with their dollars. The early polls show this new innovation to be a real winner.

1 comment:

  1. See, the thing about this that I find so seductive is that I'm capable of doing the whole fucking job, from cover illustration to design to typesetting to editing to writing to... Every aspect of publishing a book is something that I can fucking well do.

    Oh, man. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

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