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Permlink Replies: 35 - Pages: 3 [ Previous | 1 2 3 ] - Last Post: Aug 22, 2015 12:19 PM Last Post By: billhiatt
Charlie S

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Registered: 08/21/15
Re: publishers
Posted: Aug 21, 2015 6:02 PM   in response to: Ron Chappell in response to: Ron Chappell
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Charlie S

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Re: publishers
Posted: Aug 21, 2015 6:02 PM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
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Jonathan B

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Re: publishers
Posted: Aug 21, 2015 11:21 PM   in response to: nixtricke in response to: nixtricke
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I am at Worldcon in Spokane right now, and it has been a trip to be able to meet the stalwarts in the scifi field, writers whose work I have loved an enjoyed for years. However, one thing that is very interesting to me is that at the parties and hospitality suites, it seems as if most of the talk is about self-publishing. Many of these writers have extensive backlists, and some are just tired of paying the publishers (and agents) their cuts.

I was totally gobsmacked when I was asked to give advice to two of my very favorite writers, all because I have had a little success at self-pubbing. And at one of the panel discussions, someone mentioned that there are indies probably in the audience that no one knows, but are making six figures in royalties.

Monetization is a big topic. Short story writers are complaining that they are getting paid less per work that they were 20 or 30 years ago. Trad published authors are finding advances smaller, and their print runs are smaller. Their backlists are not getting reprinted. And whether this is true or not, many seem to feel that self-pubbing is an answer.

All of this is just listening into conversations. This is not empirical data. But I do get the feeling that in scifi, and least, there are many of the big names who are considering self-pubbing.
Ron Chappell

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Re: publishers
Posted: Aug 22, 2015 8:35 AM   in response to: Jonathan B in response to: Jonathan B
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All of this is just listening into conversations. This is not empirical data. But I do get the feeling that in scifi, and least, there are many of the big names who are considering self-pubbing.

I get the same sense. Several very well known trad published authors (in my category alone) have brought out their latest books as Indies. One in particular is doing extremely well. The author has a very extensive and successful trad back-list which is obviously cross pollinating the new Indie offerings with stellar results. As you might imagine, the author is an excellent writer and a seasoned professional, I can only assume Indie publishing is now appearing more lucrative.

One indicator of the continuing winds of change are demographics: older readers (more likely to be print buyers) are rapidly being replaced by younger readers who are much more centered on electronic media and willing to experiment with newer works by unknowns. That's a fact even the trads recognize, as evidenced by their bellying up to the trough, and while this might first seem to bode well for them, there is still that niggling little matter of dispersal of royalties––more and more big name authors are seeing the disparity and wondering... ;^)

billhiatt

Posts: 3,505
Registered: 09/15/12
Re: publishers
Posted: Aug 22, 2015 9:20 AM   in response to: Charlie S in response to: Charlie S
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Charlie S wrote:
Ron Chappell wrote:
Why would an aspiring author want to submit their work to an inaccessible and dying faction of the industry? Ebooks are currently where it's at, and Amazon reportedly sells about 80% of those.

75% of all books sold are print books. eBook sales are holding steady--not climbing.

If you are quoting the standard industry sources, keep in mind those sources only count books with ISBN numbers. Many, if not most, self-published e-books don't have ISBN numbers. If you attempt to count the non-ISBN books, as Authors' Earning Reports attempts to do, you get a very different picture. However, I agree with you to the extent that print books are still the bulk of the market, and I don't see them fading away.
billhiatt

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Registered: 09/15/12
Re: publishers
Posted: Aug 22, 2015 9:29 AM   in response to: Ron Chappell in response to: Ron Chappell
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Ron Chappell wrote:
All of this is just listening into conversations. This is not empirical data. But I do get the feeling that in scifi, and least, there are many of the big names who are considering self-pubbing.

I get the same sense. Several very well known trad published authors (in my category alone) have brought out their latest books as Indies. One in particular is doing extremely well. The author has a very extensive and successful trad back-list which is obviously cross pollinating the new Indie offerings with stellar results. As you might imagine, the author is an excellent writer and a seasoned professional, I can only assume Indie publishing is now appearing more lucrative.

One indicator of the continuing winds of change are demographics: older readers (more likely to be print buyers) are rapidly being replaced by younger readers who are much more centered on electronic media and willing to experiment with newer works by unknowns. That's a fact even the trads recognize, as evidenced by their bellying up to the trough, and while this might first seem to bode well for them, there is still that niggling little matter of dispersal of royalties––more and more big name authors are seeing the disparity and wondering... ;^)

I would point out, however, that there is a big difference between an established author going indie and a newbie doing the same thing. Established authors can often pull their existing audience with them.

It's probably worth going trad if the trad has the muscle to get your book onto the bestseller list. Increased unit sales might make up for the disparity in royalties. Economically, though, a midlist author might theoretically do better self publishing--if that person knew how to promote well, which most of us don't.

I don't see the major publishers disappearing. I do seem them changing with the times. I read in some thread on here that one publisher was now allowing faster release of sequels, apparently in response to the success some indies were having with issuing books more rapidly than the one per year model that used to be standard. I see self-publishing continuing to be part of the landscape, and I see it as a valuable source of innovation and opportunity.

Small publishers may also have a role to play, though it is too early to tell how successfully they will do it. There is potential there for the creation of a model that takes the best characteristics of trad and self. A few small publishers are trying innovative models. Unfortunately a lot of them, even the ones that aren't scams, are so small and so new that it's hard to see them doing much for an author.
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