Publishing is changing. We all know that. An indie press published October Run, my first Phred Rivers novel. October Run came out in trade paperback and it’s available on Kindle. I’m the first to admit that I don’t spend sufficient time on marketing. My day job takes more like a day and a half to get done. Still, the reviews have been great — and I’m not talking necessarily about the Amazon ones. These are the I loved your book, when are you writing another reviews that readers share directly with me.
On Twitter, I’m tracking writers who report thousands of books sold. Most are e-books, many are part of the Amazon Kindle .99 program. For less than a buck, readers can snag a book. If the reader has coughed up membership for Amazon Prime, the book is free.
Some of the e-writers are producing books at a rate of 3 or more a year. They’re aiming for high volume. I don’t know if they’ve given up their day jobs. Honestly, I don’t know that many they would ever earn the tag of “literary.” For sales, most will never hit the marks of James Patterson, a veritable book industry or Janet Evanovich who is now churning two mystery series plus NASCAR romance books. Her latest “Wicked” book came out this week complete with those popular oval car stickers bound into the book–for fans to proclaim their love of Evanovich’s work via their vehicles.
So where does that leave writers with modest contracts at traditional publishers and those who are at indie presses? We are often focused on the work more than the promotion. It takes thousands of hours–at the keyboard and just absorbed with the story–to produce a book. If you’re going indie, it takes dollars for cover design, Library of Congress listing, copy-editing and proofing. Most of us are not giving up our day jobs.
Is a book worth more than a buck? Hell yes. If should be.
Enjoy the 99 cent books and the Prime freebies on your Kindle and Nook. But don’t be afraid to pay more. It’s a novel choice we have.
* October Run is a .99/Prime choice only through the summer.