More on the “ebook apocalypse” front, and the self-publishing revolution, this time from writer James Scott Bell.
Here’s a bit (link at the bottom):
We all know the traditional model is shrinking. Advances on new contracts are at historic lows. With physical shelf-space disappearing, print revenues are down. While digital income is up for the publishers, the slice of that pie given to authors remains stagnated at 25% of net (or roughly 17.5% of retail). And new writers are finding publishers increasingly risk averse regarding debut authors.
Still, many writers remain focused on [getting published]. It represents some sort of “validation” even though it could very well mean less income…and fewer readers.
But now a new model of writing success has appeared. Writers, for the first time since the troubadour era (when you could go out on your own and make up stories in song and take in some coin), have it within their power to get their writing out there without a middleman (the fancy term is “disintermediation”).
And further, unlike self-published authors of yore, they actually have a chance to make real dough. Every day we are hearing more accounts of self-published writers who are earning significant income as independents.
Yet income alone is not the main draw of this new model, which looks like this:
Freedom is the invaluable commodity here. To be able to write what you truly want to write, and know that you can get it into the marketplace, is tremendously liberating. It is, in fact, the engine of happiness for a writer. It’s exhilarating to write for yourself, see what you’ve written, fix it, and keep on writing—and be assured that it will have a place in the stream of commerce, for as long as you live.
Let the people decide.