(see how clever I am, combining "O" and "P" in one post, thereby catching up on the A-Z challenge? *pats self on back*)
Traditional publishing or indie publishing, that is the question. You may have inferred from a previous post that I prefer traditional over indie (or self-publishing). Then my answer may surprise you: I say both! I want to have my cake and eat it, too.
The e-book revolution has shaken up the publishing industry, and the big winners are and will be authors. Never have we had more options and more opportunities to carve our own individual path to success.
I think the stigma of self-publishing is quickly fading, thanks in large part to the wonderful talent of such pioneering authors as Cathryn Grant, Amanda Hocking, and LindaCassidy Lewis.
All these great authors that are publishing independently are creating a need for the same services traditionally published authors are getting – editing, cover design, marketing. When a niche is created, entrepreneurial souls step in to fill it. Whether it is buffet style services or one-stop shopping, I believe demand will make them available and competition will insist on quality.
In the future, I see e-book sales as the new slush pile. The cream always rises to the top. Smart literary agents looking for fresh voices will carefully watch Amazon to see what is resonating with audiences. Is it possible that the dreaded query letter will become a thing of the past, and that literary agents will come looking for us?
Smart literary agents will also have to shift the services they offer authors. Not all authors are going to want to be shopped to traditional publishers. A literary agent can make himself relevant to those authors by facilitating access to the services they need to make their books the best and most competitive as possible.
Amanda Hocking is the model to follow, I believe. She is a prolific writer, and each book sells the next. Her pricing is brilliant – the first book in a series is priced at 99 cents, the perfect price for a curious reader. Then, the reader is hooked and willing to pay $2.99 to $4.99 for the next books in the series. In addition, she has used her self-publishing success to land a reported $2 million traditional publishing deal.
Established authors aren't going to have to bargain price their e-books. Stephen King will never have to price a book at 99 cents. Let's be real. He knows his fans will pay a heck of a lot more than that for his new book. Nathan Bransford says he'd pay $100 for a new book by J.K. Rowling, but let's be real. Most of us wouldn't. I would, however, pay about $14.99. If Amanda Hocking could make a million dollars on 99 cent e-books, imagine how much money an author could make at the $14.99 price point. (Nathan Bransford would do the math. I, however, am no Nathan Bransford.)
The take-away message from all this? Get cracking! Write that book, and then the next and the next. Your dreams have never been more attainable.
Hey! I just noticed I passed 100 followers today! Thank you so much, I'm immeasurably flattered!