Electronic books. eBooks. eReaders. Kindle, Nook, iBooks / iPad, Sony Reader. The list goes on and on with company after company releasing electronic ways to read. What was once a floundering device that no one in their right mind would use was turned on its head in late 2007 when Amazon announced the first Kindle reader.
Fast forward to 2011 and an entire industry is playing catch-up in a furious game where the playing field has been leveled almost instantly. Amazon announced it on November 19, 2007. Less than three months later I gave in, paid my early adopter tax and waited another month for it to ship. Since then I’ve been beating the drum about the Kindle and it seems everyone agrees. Barnes & Noble wised up and have jumped onto this gravy-train and it was good move. In hindsight, Borders is going away because they did not embrace this technology fast enough, while B&N did. Things aren’t rosy in the world of book stores but electronic books are picking up the slack… quickly.
All these readers get me excited. It has opened the floodgates for every writer out there to not only publish a book but to get something coveted: distribution. Hell, companies like CreateSpace and SmashWords are built on POD and electronic distribution.
JA Konrath had a lot to say about this but makes a powerful point in why people are passing up traditional publishing contracts: Royalties.
“Even if you are an optimist, it’s tough to argue against three obvious points.
1. Print sales are falling.
2. Ebook sales are rising.
3. 70% royalty is more than 17.5% royalty.”
Go back and read #3 again. A 70% royalty on sales. This is H-U-G-E. By going at it ‘on your own’, you pocket over 52% MORE than a traditional publishing deal. Even if you sell less copies on your own, you will earn a lot more money per copy. Plus as Konrath says, eBooks are forever. That’s a long time to collect sales on titles people find, based on that one book you got them hooked on.
Does this get you excited? Are you seriously thinking of making a go of it on your own? Sound off in the comments!