This post, by Stant Litore, originally appeared on New Wave Authors on 6/21/12.
Bea over at Writing Off the Rails asked me a few days ago what digital publishing, indie publishing, e-publishing, etc., means to me. That made me sit back and think a moment, because it means a lot to me. And not just what you’d expect. Here’s the answer I came up with.
It means all bets are off.
For the first time in quite a while, writers have options. A writer with a fantastic story, some marketing chutzpah, and the self-discipline of an old workhorse can take a decent shot at self-publishing, and that’s been good for a number of novelists. It’s a long shot, but thanks to the rapid growth of the e-book market and the ease of connecting writers and readers via the Internet, it’s far more feasible than it has been in the past.
Another thing that’s exciting to me is the new species of publishers emerging. Some of the small presses are not only entrepreneurial but also give their writers a fair deal, which is something that hasn’t really been the norm among large publishing houses since the 1950s.
And there are the Amazon imprints – Montlake, Thomas & Mercer, 47North, and the others. These not only offer a fair deal but a very powerful marketing engine, and they’re run by innovative people who invest in the author-editor relationship. They’re bringing good work out and they put their weight behind it – not just behind one or two titles they’re banking everything on, they put their weight behind all their books. I’m impressed by that.
All of this means that a good writer has a better shot at making a living than has been the case in quite a few decades.
That’s a good thing.
But what the e-book market and the digital publishing phenomenon really means to me is bigger than that. Much bigger.