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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Independent Authors. The Death of Publishers?

I'm curious as to if this is the goal of most independent authors? Having your book published by a mainstream company is awesome, but that's just it it's mainstream. Do you worry that your book will be changed to conform to a 'mainstream' audience, publishers are businesses and obviously they want to make money, they don't do things out of the kindness of their heart. Which is fine, it's good business. I think as publishers pick up independent authors it worries me somewhat. What if they pick up the book to 'shelve' it basically to not compete with something they want to charge 3 times as much for? Has anyone had this experience? They could also buy indie author book rights at cheap rates simply to attempt control of pricing. With the coming of ereaders and ebooks a significant opportunity has been created for authors to have more control over their writing. More of a opportunity for non (my non favorite word 'mainstream') to be seen. Stuff that would haven't been read before. I love that about independent authors. I realize with a publishing company comes publicity and a lot of people won't pick up books unless they are from a 'legitimate' publisher. I think all of that is going to change. I've started reading indi author books and some are amazing. Have to allow some room for typos and grammar errors but it never is so bad that it eclipses the heart of the stories. As Independent authors we are also taking away the monopoly of publishing companies. Penguin, who threw a fit about Amazon's pricing of books for Kindle never would have been able to do that if there was a larger open market with independent authors. More competition means lower prices and I know I am all for that. I wouldn't mind for Amazon to have a set minimum price though I think what that would do is weed out the 'crap' and allow books to be bought on a merit basis. Everyone still needs to make money obviously with lower prices means more people can afford to buy more books. I don't think customers will go oh woo hoo I can buy this book for 1.99 instead of 5.99 I'm not going to get anything else. Look I saved a few bucks. I think consumers are going to say I only had to spend 1.99 on this I can get a couple more books! Maybe they bought book one in your series, now they can get a few more. One huge deterrent of people not picking up a book is because it's in a series. If you have a series of three for instance usually books 1 & 2 aren't readily available on the shelf. So the people buying your sequels are usually pretty much made up of the people that bought the first one. To get more readers in total which just means more money for the author you could sell the first book at a reduced rate so they could start from the beginning. A couple of other advantages in remaining indie is that you can re release your books without having to beg a publisher or be in conflict with your contract with them. Every few years you are getting a new reading audience. It can be rereleased and made money off of, I mean old doesn't make it any less good. (Lord of the Rings for example)

Someone recently asked if they thought ebooks would 'kill' traditional books. My answer is no. There is still going to be a huge market for regular paper books. Children's books (I know I'm not handing my 2 year old a $400 dollar iPad. Graphic novels, art books, text books (though I'd love to see those get digitized) the point is there will still be a market. Not everyone has an ereader though many have computers to read them on. I don't like reading a book of my computer screen though and I don't think a lot of people do. Anyways I would love feedback on this... thoughts, opinions, predictions...


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