As to self-publishing on Amazon?! The problem is that once again you have to be a large publisher to get a fair deal. It’s no secret; most books on Amazon will sell just a few hundred copies, no matter how well the author promotes them. The big publishers have the right PR connections, the right shop windows, the right contacts in the media. By the time you’ve bought your ISBN number, a decent cover and paid for an editor to give your masterpiece the once over….. I really wonder how many self-publishers ever cover their own costs, let alone make sensible money.
The problem isn’t really Amazon; the public have become used to online content being either cheap or free. Free papers, free music from pirates, free movies from torrent sites, etc. It’s not just authors that are having a hard time. Musicians find it hard to make money out of 99p downloads too. I see a lot of writers that I respect offering their books for free on Amazon, or being pressured to join the Kindle Prime freebie library. There are book sites like Wattpad, Authonomy, Figment, Booksie, even Goodreads. I quite like these sites, but they are highly commercial and quite insular and although great fun, they don’t seem a decent way to get your work out to the general public. I have likened Wattpad to being Facebook with much larger messages and I think that was a fair comment.
In the end I asked myself why I wrote and it isn’t about seeing the book on Amazon and thinking ‘fame at last’…… Yes that was a joke! In the end I think most people write to get their story read, to have that magic moment when a reader will tell you off for how you treated a character. Personally I think I can do that best by publishing a regular amount of work on my websites and offering all content for free. Of course, if you’re a publisher and think Ruby or Kittara might be just the thing to add to your portfolio………….send me an email.
Ruby chapter 1 will be posted to the web on Friday 16th Jan.
Ed Cowling – Jan 2015