You want to know what I think is sad in all this new finagled (newfangled?) publishing paradigm? What is sad is that over the MANY years before Kindle was born and longer still before Amazon showed up on the scene, publishers - big publishers - and distributors - big time distributors were eating up all the smaller fish in the pond. Gobble gobble toil and trouble. It comes as no surprise to anyone who had been in the publishing Casino (it is more a horse race or roulette wheel than a business in my estimation)...anyhow anyone in the casino for my time in knows that now that it has come first down to the big SIX publishers left and maybe fewer big Distributors of the units you and I call books, we will not be surprised to learn it went down recently to the Big FIVE... and rumors on the horizon calling it soon the BIG THREE.
Imagine that, every publishing company in the US controlled by three corporations. So much for mom and pop publishers? Certainly, any that had any large following such as Algonquin Press is now under the umbrella of a major corp. Ten Speed Press. You name it. And while there remain small presses out there, many with extremely high standards from Krill Press and Echelon to Five Star and more, the shrinkage in publishing outlets has been a horror show to watch.
What has it done for authors? It has put us all on alert and many of us who are too smart to wait around for a year or more to sell a book, then a year or two to see it actually published, all the while making NOTHING in the way of green, no way to pay the bills in such a system... well the smart
ones among us, we have GONE fishing....NO not fishing, we have GONE Indie Authorship; we have become our own bosses, we have become intrepid entrepreneurs thanks to Amazon.com/kindle ala www.kdp.amazon.com
At this site anyone can publish at no cost and you go into an immediate mode of publishing partnership with Amazon. This means as Barry Eisler encouraged all of us BEFORE kindle to do -- take charge of our own Writing Business. That means we become public relations and marketing, we become the guys who give thumbs up or down on cover art, and we write our own book description, and we become our own bandwagon and sales force.
I know that sounds tough and it sounds like you are giving up much too much in the way of BIG MAJOR Publisher coddling you and sending you on jet planes across America and putting you name up in lights and on marquees (bookstores ought to have marquees over the top!). But guess what, by the time you become the next Janet Evanovich or Stephen King or even Stephen Hawking, you will have cobwebs growing out your ears. While in the meantime, you can publish that book and begin sales in an hour or two.
Way back in 2005, Award-winning author Barry Eisler, author of the famous Rain books as in Killing Rain, wrote in MJ Rose's blog (another major author) that writers need to quit bellyaching about their poor sales and poor relations with their publishers and take control instead. Treat their quite artistic productions as business people by putting on the entrepreneur's hat. Seven YEARS ago a lot of us were saying you have to treat your work as best you can as a business venture, and Barry laid out a long list of process and method to get you there. It was reprinted in the infamous newsletter put out by the MWA - mystery writers of America - The Third Degree. The point of my blog -- by going Indie Author ala Kindle or any other ebook process, we smart guys who beat our heads against the NYC curtains and walls of NYC publishing have freed ourselves of untold burdens that frankly no one ever wanted to hear us complain about, so I won't complain about them here. What I will say is the discovery of one's courage in taking the leap of faith, and the discovery of a new found freedom among the new fandango of a new publishing reality has been WONDERFUL and PROFITABLE.