Sunday, March 6, 2011

To Kindle or Not to Kindle - That is the Publishing Question

Hot off the presses .... Amanda Hocking's creations -- the Trylle triology, for one. If you've been following publishing trends in the news, you may already be aware of what's happening. Like it or not, self-publishing, especially in ebook format, is blazing a trail and aiming for the clouds or the heavens or however far up it can reach! With the creation of ebook readers, monster outlets like Amazon, easy to use tools provided by CreateSpace and Kindle Direct, an author can easily self-publish at little to no cost and be up and running on the Amazon website quicker than you can blink an eye ... okay maybe not quite that fast, but it's only a matter of weeks, not months or a year such as it takes with traditional publishers. And you don't have to "pass the gates of entry" to get by the agents and publishers who must approve you when taking the traditional route.
I know what some of you are thinking ... how good can those books be? Well, I had my doubts. Since the big hype, I've purchased a couple of self-pub books, ebook format, for my reader. I've been reading Amanda's Switched. It's for young adult readers and has the fantasy or paranormal element to it. It may not be great prose, but the story is engaging. At least as engaging as it can be for this adult reader! The thing is that her books selling. Selling BIG. I mean like 450,000 copies in the month of January alone. Now, at 99 cents a pop on Amazon, with the author's take of 30%? You figure the math. Not shabby. Right? Anyway, the whole new trend of this is something to think about ... for readers, for writers, for publishers, for agents ... everyone in the game!

Read much more about this interesting topic and phenom in USA Today ...


Anonymous said...

A new world of opportunity is exploding for self published works targeted exclusively for eReaders - My Sci-Fi novel "The Devolution Chronicles: Passage to Niburu" has color pictures and live links to my soundtrack on iTunes and book trailers on YouTube.

Sarah said...

I thought she was taking 70% of it. Anyway she's making big bucks. I'm glad someone is. I have a Kindle but don't think I'll venture in that pool just yet.

Catherine Stine said...

Hi Kathryn, fellow ABNAer!
I too, bought one of Amanda Hocking's books to see what the fuss is about. She's a much better writer than I assumed. Juts heard about Barry Eisler's decision ot walk away from a hefty 500K deal to self pub. Wow, this has reached a tipping point!

Healthier And Wealthier said...

I love this! I don't have a Kindle yet but I just love this opportunity for writers.

Donna Hole said...

I've bought several books on kindle. Most are creat-space novels from my author friends.

All I can say about it is: get good a self editing and know your way around formatting.

Sometimes for me a good story isn't enough. I like the concept well written and polished.

I'm nitpicky though :)


Catherine Stine said...

I'm reading Switched, also to find out what all of the fuss is about. And I agree with you that she's no Chekhov, but she's pretty darn good with plot, and I've read on further than many other books that I lose interest in and never finish.
Finn is a compelling guy, and I want to see who he'll end up being.
I am pumped to try more indie ebooks, and the price is right!

teacherwriter said...

Well, ladies and gent :-) ... I finished Switched. I won't speak to the punctuation/grammar issues--even though the English teacher in me fights this--but I will comment on the plot/story. The basic premise is strong. I like the characters and development of them. I thought the progression of plot sagged a bit in the middle. Too much about petty, day-to-day struggles Wendy has with Elora, adjusting to life with the other Trylles. And then ... POW! The ending is much more exciting.

Overall, fantasy is not my cup of tea. But I can understand why the intended audience would be attracted to Switched. And as a footnote, I'd venture to say the book wouldn't stand out and above other self-pubbed books of its kind without all the strategic marketing Hocking initiated. Kudos to her on that, too!

teacherwriter said...

Another footnote ... Amanda Hocking has signed with a major publisher. Her comments included that she wants to spend more time writing and less with marketing. Yet, she also states that she will still self-pub some of her work.

Hmm ... does this mean that traditional pubs are finally opening up their minds to having authors in their houses who will simultaneously self-pub other work??? Interesting, to say the least.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I Kindle published THE BEAR WITH TWO SHADOWS since it does not have vampires, werewolves, or teenage girls in love with both.

Since it does not easily fall within any storyline currently hot, few purchasing agents for publishers would see a certain return for their advance.

For personal reasons, I wanted the novel to be available to be read, so I chose Kindle Direct Publishing. Time will tell if that was an intelligent move or not.

You have a fascinating blog, Roland