Sunday, July 11, 2010

Why Print is Bad for Indie Writers

Why Print is Bad for Indie Writers, article.
There will always be people out there that won’t read ebooks, and it’s true that digital publishing is still a tiny fragment of the overall market.  But the key to success for the indie author is to realize the print-only readers are no longer your audience.  They never were, really, no matter how hard you wished otherwise.

I  think this guy is right, even though he states the case very black-and-white.
The comments under the article are interesting too. 

I have a friend who have self-published a book, a biography, and it seems to be doing well. I think in that case, paper publishing was the right choice. But: she was in a unique position of writing a definitive bio. She has a big personal and professional network and a ready market. And she had the knowledge and connections to do a print book as it should be. And she had the time and money, five figures I believe, to do it right. These are rare circumstances.
[Note: Carol tells me she is also making the book available as ebook on both Kindle and iBooks very soon, which pleases me, since I've become hooked on the variable font sizes of ebooks after using the iPad for a while.]

Probably a new and "indie" author should only do print if special circumstances demand it, or if it is already a good hit as an e-book.


ttl said...

Well, John T. Reed has proven this assumption wrong.

The problem with the article is that it doesn't distinguish between fiction and non-fiction, nor between other-published and self-published.

For self-published non-fiction, especially How-To books, print seems to work very well.

Lame article, if you ask me.

lance uppercut said...

The people who won't read ebooks are the ones whose opinions matter. Let's face it, the "indie" writers - i.e., the talentless who can't get published any other way - will always be doomed to obscurity and poverty. It can only ever be a hobby for them, or at best they might be able to eke out a meager living. The whole ebook thing isn't probably just a fad and won't go away, but it likely won't bury print either. Except for possibly magazines and newspapers.

Anonymous said...

To be fair a lot of talented writers choose to go indie not because they can't get published but because the big publishers seem to be losing the plot.

E-books are priced ridiculously high, they take all your rights, and you have to do all the marketing yourself, and in the end (after a 2 - 3 year gap) you get 6 weeks in a book store and if you don't make money your book gets pulled.

As to writing only ever being a hobby, the vast majority of traditionally published novelists only get a $5000 dollar advance, and never sell above it. They all have other jobs so writing is only ever a hobby to them.

JA Konrath was one such writer. He went indie and earns far more than he ever could have through a "real" publisher. Funny, that.

Why should authors sign all their rights away to publishers who A) do nothing to help you get your book out and B) keep making major ass fuck-ups.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

I'm buying an audiobook by JA Konrath.

I like his gimmick of titles from drinks names. It's good to have a gimmick, if not too constricting.