aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

Why not publish your fiction yourself? Let me count the ways

I'm on a listserv for mystery writers interested in promotion, but I'm about ready to flee because I seem to be one of the few remaining holdouts who are traditionally published.

Yesterday, one of the other members posted:
What's stopping any author from writing their book and publishing it right to the Internet in ebook form and keeping all of the proceeds
of the sale?

Nothing. Nothing at all.

No more jumping through hoops with agents, publishers and 20 city tours. Just write your book, hire an editor on your own (they can be much less expensive than you may think) and publish it on your own and make it available for sale on your website. Thanks to digital technology, your titles are never, ever out of print.

Just to pick a number out of the air let's say you sell each copy at $7 a piece (average paperback book price).

Factoring in all of your costs and overhead -- credit card processing fees, website hosting costs, etc. etc. you'd clear more than $5 per copy.

And your books are on sale 24x7x365.
I think this is a crock. First of all, who will find your books? My books are in catalogs that go out to all the booksellers and are talked up by a paid sales force that works in every state. My books get reviewed in all the trade magazines for booksellers and librarians, and hardly any self-pubbed books do. I've sold foreign rights in a half-dozen countries - would that have happened if my books had been self-pubbed? No. Would I have stood in a Paris bookstore and held a copy of one of my books? No. Would I have sold film rights, as I have? No. Would I even have had a decent cover? Judging by the self-pubbed books I see, no. Would newspapers have reviewed by books? Highly doubtful.

And my books are available 24/7 on Amazon and B&N.

And the idea that a 20-city tour is a) something that happens a lot to traditionally published authors b) something to be dreaded is just plain wrong.

And the idea that people are making a lot of money self-pubbing their books is also wrong. Preditors and Editors say the average number of copies sold is 100.

And how many people do you know who read ebooks? A handful? Any?

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Tags: grrrr
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