Below, three articles that caught my attention. They offer excellent perspective on what's happening in the world of book publishing:
Publishing Is Broken, We're Drowning In Indie Books - And That's A Good Thing. This article on Forbes.com asks, "Will our future feature lots of small new interesting writers at low prices and a bunch of bestsellers for somewhat higher prices? Or will the chaos eventually yield to a higher pricing model where only the most stubborn and talented Indie writer can ever break through?"
"Novelist Fights the Tide by Opening a Bookstore - Article in the New York Times. (The novelist here is best-selling author Ann Patchett, whose message is that book lovers must buy books at independent stores or they'll all disappear in time.)
Selling Ebooks Direct From Your Website. An option for aggressive marketers who want to bypass eBook retailers.
Copyright © 2000-2013
The Changing World of Book Publishing
Perspective for Book Lovers and Self-Publishers
by Barbara Brabec
Do you love books? Regularly buy print books?
Does your town still have a bookstore? If so, it may not long survive because everything related to the book publishing industry is changing, faster than most book lovers realize, and faster than most trade publishers and bookstore owners can deal with.
As Dan Poynter, one of the self-publishing industry's most respected leaders, puts it: "Eyeballs are moving from print to online. The old larger publishers have been the Big Six in New York. The new larger publishers will be Amazon, Apple, BarnesAndNoble.com, and Google. These resellers of information (nonfiction) and entertainment (fiction) are becoming publishers. They are inviting authors to cut out the publishers and deal directly with them."
In my experience in working with several first-time authors who have self-published, few tried to get the attention of a trade publisher because they were unknown writers without a following on the Web. This new breed of independent book publishers isn't aiming for bookstore sales but merely "aiming for Amazon" and other online bookstores. They're publishing print-on-demand books that may be available in bookstores by special order, and they're also publishing ebook editions for the Kindle, Nook, and other eBook readers. Some authors who plan to do a lot of speaking also do short press runs of books they can sell during speaking engagements or in workshop presentations.
Trade publishers are still offering book contracts to some first-time authors, but as one who offers an author-publisher contract consulting service and has helped a few first-time authors get better contracts this year, I've seen the new clauses publishers are adding to their contracts in an attempt to increase their profits. In addition to trying to force authors to give them 75-90 percent of the profits from all electronic editions of a work, many are also covering their backsides by adding a clause that will give them the right to reprint a work as a print-on-demand (POD) book when they decide it is no longer profitable to do a regular reprinting. Todayís book publishers simply canít afford to have huge inventories of books that may never sell in a declining market. Their hope, of course, is that they'll make most of their money on the eBook editions. . . but will they? By pricing their eBooks too high (in the ten-dollar-and above range), many publishers are going to find it difficult to compete with the low cost of high quality eBooks being offered by many independent author/publishers today.
No wonder then that we're likely to be seeing some of our favorite authors in the future (particular those who write fiction) bypassing the publishers they've worked with in years past and going straight to writing eBooks. Like their publishers and agents, they see the handwriting on the wall as brick-and-mortar bookstores continue to close. Why should they sign a contract that gives a trade publisher 75-90 percent of eBook royalties when they can so easily publish for the Kindle and Nook themselves and keep all of the profits?