Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Smart Money is on Smashwords or Lulu

Long article about e-publishing in the WSJ today. In particular it raised questions regarding the ease of self-publishing via e-publishers. The article interviews Karen McQuestion, an author I have been aware of for a few months now, thanks to JA Konrath's mention of her on his blog.

Other than the fact that this was a long, front page, WSJ article on the topic of e-publishing and e-books, the article raised just two points that I found intrigueing. First, this quote:

The market is likely to shift into two tiers, "branded/high-quality" and "cheap/good enough," predicts author and lecturer Seth Godin.

After reading it, it was kinda a "no-duh" moment. It was an aspect that I believe most industry experts were predicting, but that I had not thought about. I think the "cheap/good enough" market, and what is considered cheap and good enough is going to change drastically.

Secondly, was the listing of all the different e-publishing choices out there. I think the smart money is on a business like Smashwords or Lulu. These are companies that publish across the spectrum of devices. If you publish to Kindle, you might miss out on Nook and iPad sales. Smashwords would be a chance to remove that problem and publish to all.

Whenever I read these articles I realize that I am way behind the power curve. The authors who really have a chance to make money at this point are those that have a large library of previoiusly published books that might be out of print. They can just release them now and reap new revenue from them. I am at the opposite end of the scale. I have no library (well, one that is currentely being edited) and won't have more for some time.

It's during these times of depression that I fall back on what Donald Maass said in his book Writing the Breakout Novel, it doesn't matter how you publish it or how much you spend marketing it, if the story is well written and engages the reader on several levels it will be a success.