Sunday, August 8, 2010

Rainbow, Tornado and Tidal Wave, Oh My!

With all the big news floating around this week, first about Barnes and Noble being on the sale block and possibly affecting Fictionwise and the Nook, now we hear that Dorchester, a mainstream publisher and the achievement dream to many POD authors, is changing over to POD and ebooks.

While you can consider this positive news for those of us who have been in the e-pubbing industry for years, what looms ahead can be viewed in a different light.  Right now, consider all the loops and groups you promote on.  Now stop and think about your competition.  How many excerpts do you see roll across your digested loops because you haven't time to read them all?  Consider how many reviews flash by. How many e-book publishers are there, and how many new books are launched into that competitive field every day? Have your eyes rolled back in your head yet?

Now consider mainstream dumping their "now" contracted and future authors into the pool.  Harlequin has already introduced their "Carina" line in digital format, and now Dorchester is cutting its mass market paperback line and focusing on ebooks. according to Joe Konrath, an author with a great following, Medallion announced the same a few months back.  I must have missed that.
Regardless, if you consider all the time required for promotion to keep your name in the public light, adding a big influx of "bigger names" to the mix is going to make things more difficult for those of us already struggling.  I welcome competition, I just don't like it when it comes in a tidal wave.

Watching the turn of the tides washes away the dream of those who always wanted to see one of our books in a real brick and mortar store.  I've always told readers that as an e-pubbed author, I'm on the cutting edge of technology.  I guess I should have believed myself.


Jim Hartley said...

Sounds more like an earthquake to me. But I guess it would, as I was personally responsible for one of the really major west coast earthquakes.

I was out there visiting, and I went for a walk. I went by a little ice cream place, and decided a snack would be nice, so I went in. I was a bit surprised when I saw a Genie behind the counter, and he asked how he could help me. But being a fantasy writer, I was willing to accept a Genie. So I looked up at the menu, then turned to him and said, "I wanna shake!"

Lea Schizas - Author/Editor said...

You were right, Ginger. Traveling to your blog to read Jim's response was a prize in itself. :)

Lin said... I am reading Jim's comment, I am having my first milk shake in years and I need to batten down the hatches?'re not goign to believe what my verification word is...PERSHOOK...I am DEFINITELY getting out the chains and padlocks.

Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

I had that thought, too, Ginger...more competition for those of us e-published. But I don't think books are going to go away as fast as some think. There are those of us who still read them.

On another note, having just come back from RWA's conference where a 500 author lit signing took can we replace that if everything's electronic?

elaine cantrell said...

I've had one book in a brick and mortar store, but I think one of my POD books sold more. As long as I can get my books out there I don't care how it's done. The tidal wave thing though...

Margaret West said...

I'd better get my boat ready to ride the crest of the tidal wave!!!!

Cate Masters said...

It does seem like the shift to digital has increased in momentum lately. One of my critique partners is with Medallion and isn't happy. I've read other authors with Dorchesters say the pub is clueless but is just trying to save money. So it remains to be seen which develop successful business models. Those will be the ones that will ride out the wave.

Lisabet Sarai said...

Hi, Ginger,

Let's not be discouraged. Let's take it as a challenge. For one thing, it's clear that people who buy ebooks buy MORE books than those who stick to paper.

For another, your fans are not going to desert you. The time you've spent cultivating your audience is not wasted. The competition is already grueling. I don't really see this as making it any worse.


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