Friday, January 7, 2011

Industry News - Digital Dilemas

Publishers Weekly had an interesting blurb this month in their Publisher News section. It had to do with ebook sales for publishing giant Random House. It seems that for some titles released this fall, nearly half of the first-week sales were in ebook format. The article goes on to state that they expect digital format sales to increase significantly in the coming year.

I tell you this because I've been hearing in the blogosphere lately, the constant murmuring of authors who want to ride the same lucrative wave as the big guys. They're using self-publishing to do it. Internet giants like Amazon and Barnes and Noble offer the opportunity to get your stories out there.

This can be a wonderful thing.  On the flip-side, doing so may hurt your chances with royalty publishers down the road. So there are some things to consider...

Terry Burns, my agent at Hartline Literary, posted an interesting article on his blog, Cowboy Musings this week. It had to do with question of whether or not the decision to e-publishing your book on a site like Amazon might have a negative effect on your proposal to publishers. He surveyed over 100 editors in both main stream publishing and the Christian market.  Their responses were surprising, and I encourage you to head on over to his blog to read them for yourselves.

You see, publishers expect the digital rights to your book to be part of the package they're paying you for when they offer you a contract. The problem, is that once Amazon has your book available in Kindle form...they're not going to give it up.  And that is a dilemma that could knock your proposal out of the running.

Of course, ebook publishing is a wonderful opportunity for a lot of authors. Those who write non-fiction field, are a part of a larger organization, or who have a following all do exceedingly well with this route. Speakers and teachers get in front of their audience and self-publishing goes hand in hand with immediate sales at conferences where you make a real connection with your reader.

I encourage you to consider your future plans and hopes for your manuscript when deciding whether or not to self publish a digital version of your book. As always, its your dream, your direction, and ultimately your decision.

Until next time...Go Write!
Photograph by Andrew Mason.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glad I didn't have to worry about that!

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Always a thoughtful post from you. You're right, of course. There is more to consider than the upfront money and the ease of becoming published.

What about the translation rights, the audio rights, and the dozen of other rights thrown into the legal blender with eBook publication?

Have a great end of week, Roland

Steve Finnell said...

you are invited to follow my blog

Walter Knight said...

Unless you are already famous, self publishing, or publishing through a small publisher, is the only route available. POD (print on demand) books are not allowed in bookstores because they cannot be returned, and only large publishers can afford to warehouse books returned unsold.

Kindle book sales are leaving print copies in the dust. Of the thousand of books I have sold, 98 percent have been Kindle. New authors don't have a choice but to go the Kindle route, and now are laughing all the way to the bank.


Raquel Byrnes said...

Alex - Too're an inspiration to all of us.

Roland - Yes, reversion rights are a big issue in the ebook situation right now.

Steve - Uh...thanks? 0_0

Wally - Thanks for giving us a perspective from someone who has had a positive experience.

As I said in my post; it is ultimately your decision and your dream. I wish you all well. =)