Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue

12/26/2010

How Many Authors Are Dumping Their Publishing Houses to Self-Publish?


“Until someone comes up with an algorithm to sort the good manuscripts from the bad, publishers and their human network of agents and editors maintain an advantage,” McQuivey said. ‘But sooner or later someone will create a new way for readers to find the books they most want to read, and that someone may or may not be a traditional book publisher.'”

Great, previously-traditionally-published authors are jumping from their old publishing houses to self-publishing to take advantage of higher percentage earnings, cheaper operational costs and faster distribution directly to their readers.

New technology, eBook stores, apps and platforms are blooming all over the bloody place!

This phenomonon, coupled with the fact that big plublishing has been lousy “gatekeepers” for at least the past three decades (or since they essentially sold out new authors and talent for their quick bottom-lines–sort of the greedy condition that happened on Wall Street), was exactly the stimuli needed to invent better ways to accommodate writers, recognize more talent and satisfy the vast market of unquenchable readers.

I believe big publishing has always underestimated the reading market.

Further, big publishing became arrogant and got the cart before the horse; putting greater value on just the business of selling a creative commodity over the commodity-creators themselves and just leaving the real producers/artisans chump change.

Alex Pham reports these details in the LA Times:

Book publishers see their role as gatekeepers shrink

Writers are bypassing the traditional route to bookstore shelves and self-publishing their works online. By selling directly to readers, authors get a larger slice of the sale price.

Joe Konrath can’t wait for his books to go out of print.

When that happens, the 40-year-old crime novelist plans to reclaim the copyrights from his publisher, Hyperion Books, and self-publish them on Amazon.com, Apple Inc.’s iBooks and other online outlets. That way he’ll be able to collect 70% of the sale price, compared with the 6% to 18% he receives from Hyperion.

As for future novels, Konrath plans to self-publish all of them in digital form without having to leave his house in Schaumburg, Ill.

“I doubt I’ll ever have another traditional print deal,” said the author of “Whiskey Sour,” “Bloody Mary” and other titles. “I can earn more money on my own.”

For more than a century, writers have made the fabled pilgrimage to New York, offering their stories to publishing houses and dreaming of bound editions on bookstore shelves. Publishers had the power of the purse and the press. They doled out advances to writers they deemed worthy and paid the cost of printing, binding and delivering books to bookstores. In the world of print, few authors could afford to self-publish.

The Internet has changed all that, allowing writers to sell their works directly to readers, bypassing agents and publishers who once were the gatekeepers.

Read and learn more

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