Technologically there has been no easier time to go Indie. It is cheaper, easier, faster than ever before for the writer to bypass the publisher and directly connect with his or her readers. So should all writers consider the indie option?
My personal views are somewhat reflected on this page, but today, in this guest post, writer Jeff Benington is here to give us his take on the Indie-Traditional debacle:
What’s a Writer to Do?
By Jeff Bennington
One of the biggest stories in the news is the state of the publishing industry. E-reader sales are exploding, Amazon is making up the rules as they go, and readers are buying books at prices that go back decades.
What’s really intriguing is Amazon’s impending grip on the new age of publishing. They are buying book rights and signing authors with the power to create bestsellers via their logarithmic fairy dust.
So what’s a writer to do? Should he sign with an agent? Should she pursue traditional publication or go indie? How do novelists plan their projects and career objectives with so much turmoil in the field?
The answer: No one really knows.
With each new day it seems that there’s another twist to the game. A couple years ago, the words “self-published” tasted like mothballs in the mouths of many people. Today, “indies” are quickly gaining acceptance among readers. A few months ago, $2.99 was a rock-bottom price for an ebook. Now, 99¢ novels are selling by the millions and populating the Kindle store’s top 10.
One has to ask… what’s next?
It seems like the only thing a writer can expect is change. And if I’ve learned anything about life, I’ve learned that the best way to manage change is to have loose expectations and believe that today’s norm could turn on a dime.
My wife and I came to an agreement a few months back. We decided that I wouldn’t accept a publishing deal unless it was life changing, because as things stand, I can do almost everything it takes to publish my work and grow my audience without giving away a huge chunk of the profit. In fact, I recently turned down a publishing contract with a small press because it just didn’t make sense. Not now anyway.
Funny thing is, I would’ve jumped at the chance two years ago!
All to say, I think writers need to be flexible, ready to bend with the publishing ebb and flow no matter where they are in their career.
In the meantime, the most important thing you can do is keep writing. If your first book has meager sales, look for ways to improve book number two. Continue honing your craft and building your platform.
Keep on writing and don’t look back.
Write as if the indie revolution will last forever, but be prepared that everything could change again in 2012.
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Jeff Bennington is the author of the Amazon bestselling ghost story, Reunion, and Twisted Vengeance, a supernatural thriller coming December 2011. He blogs at The Writing Bomb and is the creator of The Kindle Book Review.