I am an LDS author who announced last year I would embrace the new eBook phenomenon and self-publish 12 Books in 12 months (#11 is due for release June 1st)
With traditional publishing going the way of the dinosaur (if they won’t agree to a massive makeover) how does this affect you and your work?
Did I answer this question already? It seems familiar but it was still in my questions folder. So if this is a repeat, sorry.
First, good for you! I’m glad you’re meeting your goals.
Second, as I’ve said before, and I will now repeat, the biggest issue I have with self-publishing and cranking out those e-books is the lack of quality control—particularly in the areas of editing, book production, and targeted promotion and marketing.
It’s really hard for me to believe that someone can write and publish a book in one month, twelve months in a row, and have the end result be a quality reading experience. I’m willing to be wrong on that, but I seriously doubt that I am.
I don’t believe traditional publishing is going the way of the dinosaur, nor do I believe it needs a “massive” makeover. Yes, there are definitely things that need to change to keep up with technology and consumer expectations. But a savvy publisher is going to be doing this anyway, all the time. None of the big publishing houses are still doing business the way they did back in the early 1900s.
But to say that self-publishing and/or ebooks will put publishers out of business implies a basic lack of understanding of what a publisher does. A book is always going to need good editing. It’s always going to need someone to design and typeset a visually appealing product. It’s always going to need marketing to bookstores and to readers. It’s always going to need someone to make the initial monetary investment, create a solid budget, figure out how to recoup the cost, and track all the other numbers that determine the success of a book.
Most of the time, an author succeeds because they are good at writing; they have a talent for stringing words and phrases together to create a captivating story. This is an entirely different skill set than the one a publisher has. In fact, in most publishing houses, there are multiple people, each of which has ONE of the above mentioned skill sets—all of which are required to produce and market a book that will sell well.
It’s not that some authors can’t do it all. It’s that most of them aren’t highly skilled in every single aspect of producing a quality end product that will compete with products created by a team of people, each of which is (theoretically) highly skilled in what they do.
And for self-pubs and indies who say, “Well, I hire people to do what I’m not good at…”—then aren’t you, in effect, creating a publishing company?
Bottom line, how will it effect me and my work? It doesn’t. Not if I’m good at what I do.