Indie Publishing

18 Mar

There has been SO.MUCH.DISCUSSION about Indie publishing in the Twitter-Universe lately, as well as in the rest of the wrold.  The real world, I mean. 

It appears that self-pubbing e-books can be… profitable. (Gasp!) Who knew?   In fact, it can actually be MORE profitable for an author than to go with… say, a small press.   Several authors, in fact, have proven that very thing.  (Amanda Hocking,   JA Konrath, anyone?)

Here are my thoughts on this matter.  Yes, I know you were waiting for them with bated breath…

For quite some time now, the publishing world has been a very closed marketplace to new authors.  It has never been enough to simply have a well-written book.  The Would-Be author has had to jump through hoops to find first the agent who loved it, then an editor who loves  it too, and then that editor had to jump through hoops to get their submission board to vote it into being published.  Whooo.  That’s a lot of reliance on the subjective nature of who loves which books.

I don’t think that agents, editors and publishers are bad people.  Not in the slightest.  But I do think that the publishing world has been Status Quo for so long… that it is nice that it is getting shaken up a bit.   Sometimes, in the past, it has seemed that these publishing panels have chosen work that THEY like to publish, not necessarily what READERS might like to read.  They have driven the reading trends, because what they publish has been all that is available to read. 

Now though, NOW Indie Publishers are putting all kinds of literature out there for readers.  And the readers have spoken… with record-setting e-book sales.  The readers LIKE having a choice.  Go figure. 

In this new age of technology where so many things are available electronically, we had to know that the publishing world was going to be affected.  Now,  everyone is going to have to adapt and find their new places in this new world.

Right now, the publishing world is turned on its ear.  Indie publishers have the freedom to price their books ANY way they would like- and many are going with a .99 price-point, at least for an initial run.  Traditional publishers CAN’T price e-books so low.  They have FAR too much overhead.  So, lately, I’ve seen quite a few publshers and even traditionally published authors, speaking against Indie Publishing on Twitter. 

And you know what I think?  I think they are nervous about where it will leave them.  They are being out-priced at every turn.

But they really shouldn’t fear.  They have outlandish marketing budgets to spend at their whim and they have something else that no Indie Published author has:  space on Barnes and Noble’s bookshelves.  And that will always be a brass ring to any aspiring author. 

So… in conclusion.  I like the way Indie Publishing has turned the industry on its ear.  But I also like the way agents and traditional publishers keep the bar raised on good literature.  They make sure that perfect, shiny books are always available, which gives aspiring writers something to…well,  aspire to.   Once the dust settles, everyone will figure out where their place is in this newly shaken up publishing industry.  And that’s not a bad thing.

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