An interesting extract from Hugh Howeys Blog . He is one of the growing number of highly successful self publishers -
Last week, fully half of the top 10 bestselling ebooks were self-published. There’s an interesting story on Forbes about this trend, as well as a link to Digital Book World’s analysis.
At this year’s Digital Book World conference in New York, my agent and I were invited on stage to talk about the benefits of hybrid publishing. What seemed a neologism then feels old-hat now. And the number of authors moving from traditional to self and from self to traditional is blurring the distinction between the two. Interestingly, with the commercial success of so many self-published authors, the advice that was mocked a year ago is now being bandied about like a truism: Take control of your publishing future. Do not be afraid of getting your work in the hands of the reader. Ignore the sages of old and listen to your gut. And keep writing.
I agree with this totally. Originally, I sent a proposal and sample chapters of my novel to 40 publishers and 25 agents who SAID they would receive material from new novelists.
Of these, only 14 publishers and 9 agents even responded.
Of the 6 publishers and 7 agents who were willing to discuss moving forward with the book, here was the gist of some of their comments:
"Can you move the setting from Oklahoma to New York City? No wants wants to read about characters in rural towns."
"Can you move the date from 1989 to the present, and have the main character [a teenage girl] have a Facebook page and tweet?"
"Can you add more sex scenes to the book, especially with the teenager? The Twilight series had made teenage sex books very popular."
"Congratulations! We' can tentative put your book on our publication list for 2015. Please reserve six months of 2015 to go on a book tour. You will be expected to make your own travel arrangements."
"There's far too many scenes with the male protagonist. Could you eliminate him without changing the story?"
"Your book is far too critical of right-wing Christian hate groups and militia. We'd like you to change these groups to Islamic terrorist groups."
Hell with that. I'm self-publishing it as a Kindle book. If demand is strong, I'll make it print to order. In this day and age, why rely on a publisher, who will make you jump through hoops and sell your soul? The only value (besides editing) that they can offer is publicity and reviews from established source, which any author these days can duplicate through ingenious use of social media.
Book publishers, like newspapers, are slowly going the way of the dodo bird. Even today e-book sales outnumber printed book sales and book shops are closing down by the score. Now, I'm not a fan of e-books in general and I love bookshops, but the 'writing' is on the e-wall. Authors have never had more freedom to control their own destiny.