There have been some substantial articles recently that go deeper into issues of digital publishing and how it’s affecting and possibly might affect the print publishing market.
Romance author Stephanie Laurens wrote a 7-part, very thoughtful commentary on recent changes in publishing, from the point of view of a bestselling author of print genre fiction.
Authors Barry Eisler and Joe Konrath, both of whom do extremely well publishing digitally, discuss “the history and mechanics of the publishing industry as it exists today, analyze the way the digital revolution reflects recent events in Egypt and the Maghreb, and consider a completely inappropriate YouTube video featuring a randy monkey and an unlucky frog.” It also explains why it was economically sound for Eisler to reject $500,000 for a print publishing deal.
Kristine Kathryn Rusch continues to stay on top of hot topics over at The Business Rusch. Last Friday’s post is particularly insightful about Amanda Hocking’s choice to publish four of her novels through a print publisher, about Connie Brockway’s decision to independently e-publish, and the announcement there will be exclusively electronic sales of 100 of Dame Catherine Cookson’s backlist novels.
Rusch also commented: “…once upon a time, meaning ten years ago, publishers used to buy stand-alone sequels to books still being published by other publishers. In fact, the new publisher loved to snatch away a book with a built-in audience…the real explanation is that the beancounters changed. They went from people who understood publishing to people who understand how to make a corporation look profitable in the short term. If you use that short-term thinking, then you don’t understand how to build audience, which is what publishing is all about. This short-term thinking is what has gotten publishing into the dilemmas it is in right now, from losing its monopoly on the book delivery system to not controlling e-books and e-rights until this year to watching its print sales decrease day by day.
Books sell by word of mouth. If you don’t keep the product on the shelf long enough to build word of mouth, you sell fewer books. Duh. But the corporate beancounters, who only care about this quarter’s bottom line and not the bottom line say, five years from now, don’t understand that.”
At Digital Book World, Gather a group of digital publishing pros and usability experts in the same (virtual) room, and the discussion gets deep, detailed, and far-seeing.
And at Hot Hardware, Beware the New eBook Scam.