Have We Reached A Tipping Point Where Self-Publishing Is Better Than Getting A Book Deal?
from the trend-watching dept
Of course, there are some implicit assumptions that Konrath makes that I'm not really sure apply across the board. He seems to assume that it's easy to sell 1,000 ebooks per month (which is the basis for his calculations). If you have an audience already, that's possible, but if you don't, it's a lot harder. A publisher can really help an unknown author with marketing, and that's certainly not something that should be diminished. Now, obviously, that doesn't mean everyone has to do it that way. There are certainly other ways. Some authors may be naturally good marketers themselves, or they can outsource the function to someone else, at a lower "cost." Separately, while Konrath notes at the top of his post that in the past he hated self-published books because the quality was almost always low, he doesn't seem to mention that again. The editing process can be pretty important (though, again, there may be other options there).
So I think the real point of his post is that self-publishing can be right for a certain segment -- but others may still want to go the traditional route (but certainly with open eyes).
What actually struck me as much more interesting is what his post really says about pricing. He notes with self-published ebooks, you can keep the pricing significantly lower than otherwise. So his books run $2.99 -- which he says means a bunch of his books sell 2,000 to 3,000 copies per month at that price. He points out that a traditional publisher will never price an ebook that low. This does make me wonder if the market for ebooks will continue to bifurcate in interesting ways. It's already well known that the most popular books on the kindle are the freely available ones. It was also a big story earlier this year about how the big publishers pushed Amazon into finally increasing the pricing on ebooks, so they could sell them for more than the previously standard $9.99. But what Konrath is seeing suggests that pricing direction is all wrong. Not surprisingly, the size of the market grows quite a bit the cheaper the book gets. If traditional publishers keep trying to increase the price of ebooks, while a growing contingent offers cheap or free ebooks, the ebook market may become very different than the traditional book market very, very quickly.