Building A Better Industry Bewares Publishing

Mike Shatzkin is confused. He can’t seem to understand why self-publishers spend so much time documenting the ills of the publishing industry. Or, as Shatzkin puts it in one of his typically snappy headlines, “The motivation of the publisher-bashing commentariat is what I cannot figure out.” I did a fair bit of bashing myself last week when I said that “Publishing Is Rotten To The Core.” I had intended to follow that up with a more positive counterpoint in a couple of weeks, but Shatzkin’s post demanded an immediate response. Motivations are less interesting to me than the arguments themselves, and questions about motivations can often be an attempt to avoid the actual issues, or a simple fishing expedition – Read More…

Who's Afraid of Very Cheap Books? Publishing

A common meme in publishing is that cheap books are destroying the world or literature, and that low prices are undermining the viability of publishing or writers’ ability to make a living. I’ve long thought this position is nonsense – a narrative which plays on misplaced fears of change and a confusion of price and value, which is also based on flawed assumptions and analog, zero-sum thinking. And, if anything, the opposite is true. Why So Cheap? Self-publishers are fond of 99c pricing for a number of reasons. It’s the lowest price you can set at Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo without making your book free, and it has an obvious impulse buy appeal to readers. This price point is particularly popular Read More…

Who’s Afraid of Very Cheap Books? Publishing

A common meme in publishing is that cheap books are destroying the world or literature, and that low prices are undermining the viability of publishing or writers’ ability to make a living. I’ve long thought this position is nonsense – a narrative which plays on misplaced fears of change and a confusion of price and value, which is also based on flawed assumptions and analog, zero-sum thinking. And, if anything, the opposite is true. Why So Cheap? Self-publishers are fond of 99c pricing for a number of reasons. It’s the lowest price you can set at Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo without making your book free, and it has an obvious impulse buy appeal to readers. This price point is particularly popular Read More…

Self-Publishers Aren't Killing The Industry, They're Saving It Publishing

There’s a lot of talk at the moment that cheap books are destroying the industry. In traditional publishing circles especially, fingers are being pointed at self-publishers (and their chief enablers, Amazon), who stand accused of encouraging a race to the bottom, of devaluing books, and training readers to pay ever-cheaper amounts – making the whole book business unsustainable. Today, I have a guest post from Ed Robertson – author of Breakers and Melt Down – which takes issue with that view. His logic is compelling, based on a historical look at book prices. This is really worth the read: Self-Publishers Aren’t Killing The Industry, They’re Saving It I’m a self-publisher. An indie author. Whatever you want to call me. I’ve read many articles about Read More…

Self-Publishers Aren’t Killing The Industry, They’re Saving It Publishing

There’s a lot of talk at the moment that cheap books are destroying the industry. In traditional publishing circles especially, fingers are being pointed at self-publishers (and their chief enablers, Amazon), who stand accused of encouraging a race to the bottom, of devaluing books, and training readers to pay ever-cheaper amounts – making the whole book business unsustainable. Today, I have a guest post from Ed Robertson – author of Breakers and Melt Down – which takes issue with that view. His logic is compelling, based on a historical look at book prices. This is really worth the read: Self-Publishers Aren’t Killing The Industry, They’re Saving It I’m a self-publisher. An indie author. Whatever you want to call me. I’ve read many articles about Read More…