Wednesday, 14 December 2011
The times they are eChanging
According to the Association of American Publishers, e-books grew from 0.6% of the market share in 2008 to 6.4% in 2010, the most recent figures available. Total net revenue for 2010: $878 million with 114 million e-books sold. In adult fiction, e-books are now 13.6% of the market.
It's like the gold rush out there and many authors are making fortunes - Forget the sensitive auteur waiting for the muse, these days anyone hoping to be successful must get those fingers flowing over the keyboard. Self-publishing an e-book requires an entrepreneurial spirit and determination.. But the downside is that there is a lot of crap on sale, but you've got to believe that work of worth will rise to the top of the pile. Mind you to be perfectly honest bad writing is not confined to self published eBooks are there are several big name authors, traditionally published, who are just awful.
What is surprising is that many of the new big names such as Amanda Hocking were for years unable to find a traditional publisher and yet now those same publishers who rejected them are knocking on their doors, cheque books at the ready. So maybe the likes of Joe Konrath and others have a point when they say that traditional publishers, the gatekeepers they call them, are not the best judge of what the market wants. Nor, it would seem, what is and what is not a good book.
"I am a guy who had his butt kicked by the industry for 20 years, and now I'm showing other authors what they can do so they don't have to go through the same thing," he says. "Traditional book publishers are just serving drinks on the Titanic." Joe Konrath.
Another success is Darcie Chan. This year, she self-published her debut novel, The Mill River Recluse, after being rejected by more than 100 literary agents. Set in a small Vermont town, the moody mystery concentrates on what happened to a beautiful young bride. It spent 16 weeks on USA TODAY's best-seller list, peaking at No. 6. Chan says she has sold 416,000 copies of the 99-cent e-book.
It is indeed a brave new world out there with authors finding themselves taking on the multiple roles of writer, publisher, publicist and agent. And many are frightened of the way things are going but, as they say - you've got to be in it to win it.