Thursday, May 19, 2011

More warnings and advice for authors

Prolific author and self-publisher Kristine Kathryn Rusch begins a new blog series advising established authors and newbies alike about the rapid changes in the publishing industry, and how to survive and thrive in this evolving world:
Traditional publishing has lost its monopoly. It used to control the distribution of books all over the United States and, indeed, all over the world. With the success of the e-reader and ease of electronic self-publishing, writers regained control over distribution.

Concurrent with that was the rise of a new model for print-on-demand. No longer does a writer have to purchase thousands of books at the cost of thousands of dollars. The writer can upload her novel at almost no cost out of her pocket, and not print a single copy until she has an order. In fact, the POD company, like CreateSpace and LightningSource, will produce the book and ship it for the author, so there is no warehousing, no pile of books rotting in an author’s basement.

In other words, all parts of the distribution chain are now available to the entrepreneurial author. Including, as of last week, audio books, since Audible has now instituted a system in which an author can do her own audio books.

Traditional publishers got blindsided by this. So did agents, who rely on their contacts in traditional publishing to make their living. And both groups are now in survival mode. They’re trying to hang onto their hefty incomes in a new world they don’t entirely understand.

Mostly, they’re doing so by making huge rights grabs from authors.
As ever, read it all.

No comments: