Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Raff Ellis, Nation Weigh In on Book Profitability

My long-time subscribers to Sharing with Writer Raff Ellis sent me this note and link to an important issue that affects the future of publishing, more specifically the profitabiitty of publishing books, whether tradition on on our own. I hope you find it valuable. Weigh in with your concerns, please!

From Raff

This article should be interesting to anyone who is involved with the writing/publishing business. There has been an explosion in self-publishing. One million titles were published last year! This is a 500% increase in just the last five years!

Lost in Amazon's drive to lead with the lowest price (and ultimately drive traditional booksellers out of business) is the author, and the independent publisher. The are at the end of the line in sharing profits. They are the ones who will be unable to continue pursuing an unprofitable profession.

Publishers, who are continually faced with increasing costs, cannot afford to take chances with unknown authors, further limiting reader choices and mandating a homogenized product that is known to sell to the masses. Authors, who make books happen, won't be able to continue doing so if the price is driven down to the point that the market is left to a few established authors.

I see the events taking place as similar to what took place in the automobile business when robots replaced people. Since robots don't buy cars, manufacturers' costs were reduced right along with the sizeable chunk of their market. Robots can't author books, at least not yet, but this is where we're headed with the homogenized products the industry marketing gurus seem to want.

One other note: When you look at the overall cost and competition for the consumers' entertainment dollar, books come in at the lowest cost/hour of entertainment available. Will that cost be driven down to the point of extinction?

Here is the article in Nation that I want you to see. I know you will find it worthwhile:



Raff Ellis, Author/Lecturer
Author of Kisses from a Distance
KFAD Web Site
KFAD Video

Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including, The Frugal Book Promoter: How To Do What Your Publisher Won't; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . She is also the author of the Amazon Short, "The Great First Impression Book Proposal". She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor . If your followers at Twitter would benefit from this blog post, please use the little Green widget to let them know about this blog:

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