Posted on 2013-Oct-10
Self-Publishing to Expand Possibilities
With a string of thought-provoking information from Mercy Pilkington of GoodeEReader who attended CONTEC at Frankfurt Book Fair, there are important lessons that indie authors should be aware of. Although self-publishing has become accepted widely by many industry insiders, there are growing demands to get a print deal with a traditional publisher to sell their books in bookstores. But the backlash comes from the rejection that judges authors based on their commercial status. Ultimately, authors should keep their options open to look for possible alternatives to monetize their books. In one example, a traditionally-published author turned indie author with the aid of Kristin Nelson, literary agent, fared well to reach a new fan base in foreign markets. One of her high-profile clients, Hugh Howey, highlights the glowing aspect of self-publishing as a long-term model rather than a short-term “bestselling moneymaker.” Unlike the physical books that might slip into out-of-stock shortage, the enhancement equipped with great vision to seek professional assistance will make sure that authors can maintain the excellent quality throughout the entire process for their book.
eBook Price and Value
Another interesting debate presented by Mercy shows what bookstores will need to achieve to stay relevant in the rise of online vendors. Book delivery has not become a big issue any longer now that online booksellers can ship the print books right to your door on time. Not only that, eReader owners will need less help from physical bookstores to get what they want when they can procure a wireless transaction in no less than 5 minutes to get an eBook. Onto another discussion of what the value and definition of a book will be, Sascha Lobo, founder of Sobooks, gave an arresting point to define a book’s value based on their content that its authors have accomplished to communicate successfully and effective with their readers. When Rachel Fershleiser brought up the availability of free content online as to question the value of a tech book that teaches basic knowledge of a subject, Lobo said price will determine whether readers will be able to afford an investment to choose self-study or go for paid courses. In conclusion, although bookselling competition is fierce at the moment, books’ price and value still remain deciding factors whether readers will pick up a book from certain places or research on their own without spending a dime. Whichever choice readers will choose, authors and publishers must be fully aware of readers’ expectation in the first place.
Perfect Harmony between Book and eBook
With so many great ideas pouring in from industry insiders, Andrea Colvin, publishing veteran, shares her insight how eBooks should go alongside with print. Deanna Utroske of Digital Book World writes how digital and print can coexist harmonically with the innovative mind. Instead of developing a book’s content separately for the two versions, she seems to incorporate print designs into eBook formatting to make sure that the conversion process will be dealt with ease and speed. Now that books are not only published in physical form, publishers need to think about how their release in electronic format will ensure readers that they will enjoy the same, if not better, reading experience regardless of how they read. It should be noted that BB eBooks creates eBooks first from unformatted content, and then uses the well-formatted eBook to create the print edition.
Instead of creating the awe-inspiring moments, Andrea seems to stick to the sense of practicality to roll out the features that will be useful for their consumers. It is undeniable that there are some limits to what eBook technology can bring out in books of certain genres (e.g. puzzle books). Being exposed to new lines of products built by online vendors can have positive and negative impacts. On the plus side, working with a capable device means publishers/authors can create advanced formats of content that looks its best on the eReading devices. With new technology comes a responsibility to relearn how eBook can be published to look their best. So far, what keeps her exciting is how she can turn cookbooks into a nice eBook after she had success with fiction. As long as technology keeps pushing the limitation of book’s presentation, a couple of projects are on the waiting list and she is feeling excited to look forward to new development.
Another Matching Program from Amazon
Although audiobooks might not be categorized as Amazon’s breakthrough moment in the tech scene, it is the way they popularize technology and make it available and accessible for mass consumers. Before they make the MatchBook program officially available this month, the growing demand of audiobooks requested by their customers seems to push them into integrating more Audible elements into their existing eBook catalog. According to the Bookseller, Audible seems to be aggressive to pursue rights from agents: “Audible is now approaching agents and offering a better royalty. It looks at what titles aren’t available in audio, then goes and looks to get hold of the rights itself,” said Pandora White, audio publisher at Orion. The new program, Matchmaker, carries the similar prefix to indicate that they know what a good match is. “Customers also drive us—if they ask us, ‘Why can’t I buy an audio version of this?’, we will go and look to see who has the rights. If an agent has them that’s great, and if they are with a publisher, [we think] maybe we can do a deal,” Laurence Howell, Audible’s Director of Content at Audible, said. There are a couple of other audiobook publishers-W F Howes, Bolinda and AudioGo-listed in The Bookseller article apart from Audible. They have started to voice their concerns about Audible monopolizing the audiobook market. However, Alice Lutyens, audio manager at Curtis Brown, said that she tends to go to independent audio publishers to sell audio rights because “audiobooks are their specialty.”
Audiobooks and New Genres, Maybe?
Only the sky is the limit for your writing career. If you happen to be rejected by a publisher, it will not be the end of the road for you. Technology keeps changing fast and your progress in this industry will as long as you keep creating the kind of contents that resonates with your target group of readers. Self-publishing is a platform where you can go and expand your distributional channel to reach a wider group of readers; however, you will have to take the center stage being in full charge of quality control and responsibility to make the book their best form from start to finish. To make sure that your readers will get what they want regardless of reading formats, you might want to consider offering a POD alongside with your typical eBook and strategize yourself to experiment with new genres you might feel passionate about researching and writing (e.g. cooking, non-fiction, comics, business knowhow). Last but not least, Amazon is stirring the audiobook market to the extent that can help authors/publishers get the best deals for their works. No wonder the audiobook market will be exploding pretty soon.
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