People always say, “I prefer the feel of a real book, over eBooks.”
We all do, but I like to read, and sometimes I’d rather read something NOW than wait. And as someone who has given thrift stores hundreds and hundreds of books over the years, there’s something to be said for downloading a book for under $10 (or under $5), instead of buying a hardcover for $22 and discarding it when I’m done. Sure, a book might get a second life in the thrift store, but how many old books don’t sell and just get recycled? (Most.) Not every copy of the DaVinci Code gets a second life.
It’s not so much about saving trees (cutting down a tree to make a book is a pretty good use of a tree, in my opinion.)
A friend of mine worked in a major book store. She tells stories of the unsold books getting returned to the publishers for credit – but first, they had to remove the covers of the books, rendering them worthless. Sad but true. And horribly time consuming for writer, publisher, and seller.
Thankfully, the path to publishing success is not paved with discarded books or garages full of unsold inventory.
You might know the name E.L. James of 50 Shades of Grey fame. The quality of her writing is up for debate, but there is no denying that millions of people found her book, which she self-published, to be a great read. So good, it became a movie and her sequel is a New York Times bestseller. You might not know the name Hugh Howey (Wool), but he’s a household name in the indie publishing world. You’re about to learn the name Andy Weir, because his self-published (initially FREE) book The Martian is about the be one of the top movies of the year, and will get some Oscar nods. Maybe you haven’t heard of Sean Platt, David Wright, and Johnny B. Truant, but they are making a great living writing a slew of genre-mixing serials, and in one year published the equivalent of the entire series of Harry Potter books.
These stories are going to become the rule. We’re entering an age where the traditional publishers won’t consider an author who hasn’t self-published first. This is why I tell friends that I’m not worried about selling 20, 50 or 100 books to people where I live (although I will go wherever I’m invited to speak.) I want to sell 1,000, 2,500, or 5,000 books on Amazon to people I’ll never meet. I want Amazon’s algorithm to notice me and turn that 5000 into 50,000.
I just dropped the price of The Grandfather Clock to 99 cents, so get it now. 200 fast moving pages, you won’t regret reading. Read it and leave a review or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The sequel, The Napoleon Bloom, will be out for Thanksgiving (I swear.)
If you’re in the St. Pete area, come see me at Mirror Lake Library at 5:30 pm on Monday, Oct. 5th. I’ll be talking about how my book came to be – and selling hard copies made from trees.