Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Night and Day

I read so many blogs about the ebook revolution that its seldom that I come across one that makes me go....Whoa! Today I found one. And it goes to illustrate the perception difference between those who have self-published and those that are in traditional publishing.

The post I came across today was entitled: Five Things to Know about the eRevolution. I'd like to address each of the 5 points raised.

  1. "you have to ask yourself whether the opportunity cost of spending months writing a novel and then only getting $50 through Amazon is worth it." - Why does this person assume that you'll only make $50 through Amazon? Take a look at Kindle boards and you'll see many people selling hundreds of books, a good number selling thousands of books, and a respectable number selling tens of thousands of books. But that's not what bugs me most about this point #1 - which is so what is the alternative offered? If a book is only going to sell $50 through Amazon it is not going to be picked up by traditional publishing so it's not like traditional is an alternative offered.
  2. Think of e-books like apps." - What a strange statement. ebooks are not apps - they are ... books. ebooks are just another format and one that is growing quickly. Amazon now sells 115 ebooks for every paperback sold. This is the fastest growing of all book formats it is not something completely different it is a book and should be thought of like one.
  3. "The advance you can earn through traditional publishing may or may not end up being more than you'd make electronically (odds are it'll be more), but the beauty of the advance is in the word itself: you get it before you sell a single copy." You get your money MUCH faster in ebook world. Traditional publishing is slow...really slow. I still don't have a traditional publishing contract as of March 15th and we "agreed" on terms on November 15 so her it is 4 months later and I don't have a dime - while in that same time I've made more than the entire six-figure advance that I'll get in installments. ebook income comes in just a few months advances (especially for multiple book deals) can take years to "fully come in.
  4. "Consider getting outside help. Even assuming you're a great writer, that doesn't necessarily mean you're a great editor, marketing manager, sales(wo)man, or graphic/web designer." - I'll give you this one - to a degree - yes as a self-published author you need to hire editor and cover designer (services traditional will do for your) but as for marketing efforts - well both self published and traditional published have to work this equally.
  5. Read everything you can on search engine optimization (SEO), on-line advertising, and keywords in order to make sure your work is readily available when its title or your name is entered into search engines like Google or Bing. Again I don't see why this is different between traditionally published or self-published. If you work on "getting your name out there" you need to do it regardless of how you are published.

Don't get me wrong...I'm not saying self-publishing is for everyone - it does take someone is basically an entrepreneur at heart. But I found this to be a very biased article by someone who really doesn't have the real world experience to speak as an authority on the subject.


Unknown said...

I read this same posting. I am happy I got to see your view on the five points! Interesting to see both sides.

Robin Sullivan said...

@ Thanks V.Furnas...glad you enjoyed.

Libby said...

Not everyone's going to make a fortune, but don't most of us write to get people to read our writing? Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is any author's readership.

Libby said...

PS - my comment mean, I agree with you, Robin, in case that didn't come across.

Tara Maya said...

Hehehe. I like your point by point responses.

Anonymous said...

Wow, the post you quote from is really odd, and terribly uninformed. I think there are lots of pros and cons to be discussed, but this misses the mark on most of the real concerns.

The opportunity cost thing particularly blew my mind. I'd much rather have the speed and control associated with indie publishing than wait for the glacial pace of traditional publishing. For an extreme example of opportunity cost that can be associated with traditional publishing, check this out:


I really feel for the guy, but his story does encourage one to take control of one's own destiny!