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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Fascinating Discussion of Ebooks vs Paper

Still looking at the ebook publishing concept and saw this thought-provoking discussion between J.A Konrath and Barry Eisler on how paper is on the way out and ebooks have already won the war. I am certainly disposed to drink the kool-aid, so someone please point out the flaws in this argument.

Okay. Truthfully I can see some flaws. Many people put there writing out there before it's fully cooked. I do think quality writing will rise to the top, but as time goes on, there will be more and more to sift through. I'm interested to see where the quality control will come from.

But they actually convinced me that I don't want a monolithic publisher in charge of my writing. It's like giving your kid to a babysitter with a hundred kids to look after and expecting yours to get the treatment he or she deserves. New authors are expected to care for and market their own books. A publisher just gets you bookstore distribution - and business isn't looking so hot for brick and mortar bookstores. And if it doesn't hit quickly, the publisher moves on and you are left crying in your beer. I think I'll go read some blogs against epublishing and see if they bring me back over from the dark side. You never know...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Make a Million Publishing Your Book on Kindle?

So has anyone read Nathan Bransford's blog on the self-published Kindle millionaires? Its awfully tempting to go straight to making books available on Kindle. I am not expecting to be an Amanda Hocking or J.A. Konrath. They are making hundreds of thousands at this, but hey, some extra money would be nice. Or let's face it, any at all.

Hocking had shopped her book to agents unsuccessfully. She just wanted to make some extra cash for a trip she was going on. Now she is making major bucks selling books for .99 cents. The low price point makes sense. I would take a chance on a book that is well reviewed by book bloggers for a mere buck. The soda machine at work costs more... Some books are 2.99, but that still means I can get 2 for the usual price of one. That's hours more of reading enjoyment. A whole series of 6 could be $6 bucks and on my Kindle forever (sniff, or they could have been if my Kindle hadn't been stolen from my house a few weeks ago).

I will certainly be buying more self-pubbed books if I ever save up enough to get another Kindle.

The lower ereader prices (many ereaders have dropped to around $100, and it's just $139 for the new 3G-less Kindle) mean more readers. But more authors will be trying to publish this way, which means your writing will have to shine if want to rise to the top of the .99 cent offerings.

But I am quitting my 2nd job in order to write more, and it has me seriously thinking about publishing on the Kindle. I am finally at a point when I can dedicate myself to my writing.

I don't think everyone will do this. Both Hocking and J.A. Konrath are prolific writers and marketers. Most of us still have the simple butt-in-chair problem that keeps us from getting anywhere. But I have friends who have terrific books ready to go. And with some monetary motivation and that dastardly immediate gratification, I could certainly be seduced...

Many writers have a vision for their book, and it doesn't always survive the traditional publishing submission process. Agents and editors often dictate changes according to a formula, and sometimes they are all too right. But let's face it, they don't always know what will make books sell. As Amanda Hocking points out, none of us really do. But at least with Kindle publishing, that much-loved book gets a chance to breath free air. For better or worse. Hmmmmm. So if sharing your writing is important to you, the money might be nice, but it's secondary to just being heard.

Something to think about.