Amazon v. the world

I’ve been following the tug-o-war between the giant online retailer and 1/5 of the so called big 5 publishers. Thanks to a few leading edge authors (HughHowey, for example) I think I’ve come to a decision regarding how I should pursue publishing my first work of sci-fi – CRASH COURSE.

I don’t pretend to understand even half the details of how authors are compensated, especially thru traditional publishing. Ironically, the growing disagreement between Amazon and Hachette has prompted a plethora of information and analysis which is turning out to be quite useful for new or soon to be published authors.

I have a mind to try both, but for different reasons. One, there is a certain challenge in writing a query letter that attracts attention and which (hopefully) leads to a contract and truck loads of sales. Searching the vast database of agents who might be interested in your genre and then gambling he or she likes your voice and story. The suspense is high – do or die.

However, the e-book route holds various degrees of ease – from simply providing the platform through levels of support and editing that closely approach a traditional publisher. The only decision to make here is how much of your own money do you want to spend up front versus how adept you are at editing your own work. The way I read the stars, the e-book is likely to be the way to go, and eventually, the only way to go.

Perhaps it comes down to what plans you have for your book. Is it fiction or nonfiction? Is it a stand alone story or will it be part of a series? And does it take you a year or more to complete one book or just a few weeks? Another and increasingly influential factor is the use of social media. I for one am from a generation that did not grow up with social media and I tend to ignore it. However, I also realize that younger generations and certainly subsequent generations will know nothing but social media, to say nothing about an actual paper book. So, I grudgingly drag myself into the cyber netherverse, watching, observing, and reading (and copycatting) everybody out there and hope to hell I get it right. Oh, and I just recently read that even traditional agents will Google potential new author clients.

Hence, new and old authors must live in cyberspace part of the time because that is where readers are trending. I do hope that the big five reconcile sooner rather than later because eventually all of the paper book reading generations will be replaced by a total device wielding generation.



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