Friday, August 13, 2010

The times they are a changin'

A year ago I was leery of self-publishing any of my e-books at Amazon. But I needed the money, so I went ahead and did.

And now, a year later, I'm nowhere near as leery of it. I'm glad I did it.

Yes, I've made some money. No, I'm not rich. I'm not even getting by on my writing money as of yet, but each month I'm making a little more than I did before. Plus, I've already got plans for my next e-book publications, and those will only bring in even more money.

One of the difficulties of self-publishing has always been the stigma of it. Self-published books are crap. At least that's what a lot of people seem to think. But many self-published authors nowadays are going the extra mile to make sure their books and e-books are top quality. For example, many are hiring professional editors or cover artists.

There's also the feeling some self-published authors have that they have let themselves down, that they weren't good enough. I might have been one of those authors 5 or 10 years ago, but not now.

Many traditional authors who have "made it" are now turning to self-publishing, mainly because changes in technology allow them to do so and because much of the traditional print publishing industry is slow to figure out what to do with the changes this technology brings to their business models.

Many authors are going it on their own without the aid of traditional print publishers.

For example, mystery and horror author J.A. Konrath a while back announced he would not longer be using a print publisher but would publish his own works, print and digital, through Amazon (as well a handful of other sites such as Smashwords). Konrath has sort of been labeled a rogue figure by some, so it's not surprising he would make such a giant leap.

And then I learned that longtime pro author Dean Wesley Smith is selling and promoting much of his backlist and short stories on Amazon, though he's not giving up on print altogether, which makes sense. His wife, novelist Kristine Kathryn Rusch, is doing much the same thing.

Now I see where horror novelist Brian Keene, he of zombie fiction fame, has dropped his print publisher and is going it alone with digital publishing, though he's also working in comics and not completely giving up on print if the right publisher comes along.

And then there are all the lesser-known authors out there who are self-publishing digitally, authors such as Zoe Winters and Charles Gramlich.

So, a revolution of sorts seems to be happening. Authors are going it on their own, without publishers. Where will this lead? I don't know. But I do know it's an exciting time to be a writer. And I'm glad to be here riding the wave.

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm definitely glad I got in on it. I think it's gonna turn out pretty good for me.