"CEO Jeff Bezos previously announced a self-publishing program in which authors can sell Kindle books on the site and keep 35 percent of the proceeds...
Look, those of us in the publishing industry have gone over this time and time again. There is a place in the world for people to self-publish, but in this case, in my humble opinion, this is just a way for companies to prey on those writers out there lacking the knowledge of the business. These authors have seen a rise in e-book sales (in fact many probably got their own at Christmas), and now they think tons of people will go out there and buy their books simply because they have an e-book reader. Heck, according to the same article, e-book sales out performed regular book sales this year.
I know, I know, e-publishing gurus and media moguls are screaming, "see, I told you so" and the self-publishing people are screaming "See, the mass market is interested in what I have to offer." Sorry to say it, but this is far from the truth.
We have to consider several things here. Work with me on this one because I am still waiting for the coffee to finish brewing (this is a no coffee article).
- Obviously ebook sales would go up. Who would want to give someone an e-reader without something to read on it. This is like giving a kid a Wii system and then saying it is up to them to spend their own money and get the games.
- The true test is to check back in 6 months and see how many people are still reading. I am thinking here of that post holiday let down. We see the same thing with kids. Play with a toy and by Jan. 1st, they are already bored with it.
- The self publishers are just being sucked along with this media frenzy. Time and time again, I have heard self-publisher say they took that route because the traditional publishers just didn't have a market for their writing? Huh? What do you mean people in New York or London don't want to know about the underwater pottery making industry of Bodfish, California. Hey, if they don't want to buy the book in hardback, they won't in e-book.
- But now it is available world wide on the internet! Again, how will we find you. Sorry to say it but I (along with a lot of other readers out there) don't just surf Facebook for a random new author on something obscure. And when I go to any online retailer, I am looking for something specific.
I still have to say, I honestly do not believe the book industry is being taken over by the e-book thing. I am more likely to pick up random books at the books story simply because it is sitting on the shelf next to the one thing I went in to get. Come on, I know you are all the same way, I hear it all of the time: "I went to Borders to get one thing and walked out spending $200.00."
Sure, the e-book thing is great. I love my reader and use it when reading all of my author's work. However, I have to say, this new move to bring in the self-publishing people, although it sounds very generous, just has a funny smell to it, at least from my perspective.
Ahhh, the coffee is finished. Off to get that well deserved cup. Oh, and when I am in the kitchen, I may browse the left-over Christmas cookie treats. Who knows what I will find there (hmmm, that sounds like a reference to a book story excursion).