Thursday, March 24, 2011

Independent publishing, the new rage?

I have read that some agents and publishing houses considered self publishing the kiss of death. Now some of these same industry leaders are taking a different stance on the subject. What do we have to thank for this change of heart.....our beloved e readers.

A few authors have been making headlines recently. The most insane  Best selling author Barry Eisler just turned down a $500,000 advance to take the indy route. He and Joe Konrath talk about that decision on Barry's blog. It is a very long post but filled with tons of information and insight into publishing contracts.

On the other side of things Amanda Hocking, who has sold over 900,000 copies of her book independently (in less than a year) now has an agent and stands to get a 7 figure deal at auction with a publisher.

Here are a few fun facts:

On March 23rd at 1:30 pm I checked out the top 100 selling Kindle books on Amazon. There were 23 self published books on the list with eight of them in the top 20. Those 23 books were written by 10 different authors.

Joe Konrath said he sells about 3000 e books a day. One of those books (I don't know the name, I know this is not the best example of my "investigative reporting") was written 12 years ago and he tried to sell it to every major publishing house in New York. That book alone has sold 35,000 copies in 2 years, self published.

Now I am not blind to reality, those success stories are not common. I also read  blogs from  new authors that self publish and sell 0-100 books a month.

But times are interesting. I found that some indy authors are joining forces and starting there own publishing companies to help promote each other. Literary agents have posted that their companies are working on a digital business model so they can take on indy authors as clients. Do I think think they are worried that all authors of the world are going to by pass the publishing houses? No, I think they realized there is just a new customer base for them. Don't get me wrong, I think an indy writer would really benefit from an agents experience and the agency would probably offer a great marketing strategy.

So this is my plan. My goal is to have my book ready to pitch at the Willamette Writers conference in August. Then I will query agents for one year. If I have not found representation by then I will consider publishing it myself. As much as I want to be published through a large press, I want people to read my book more. Making a living doing what you love would be a dream come true but I want to give people a chance to fall in love with the characters I gave life to. Even if I never make a dime I will write my stories because I love to write.

1 comment:

  1. Kriston- Great insight! With E-books and self-publishing coinciding; we are probably looking at the dawn of a new day for everyone involved in the field of Literature.


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