Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Is There Enough Pie to Go Around?

     I just finished watching Amanda Hocking on Anderson Cooper's talk show. I felt a rising tide of panic as I listened to the 42 year old stay at home mom who was also on talking about how Amanda inspired her. It's ridiculous, I know. And yet, it will not leave me.
      All the articles I've been reading about the rising tsunami of self-publishing and the surge of ebook purchases since the holidays lead me to the conclusion that the iron is hot and it's time to strike. Sadly, I don't have an iron of my own yet. My iron is at about room temperature and holding. Am I missing out because I don't have a MS to publish? Is there enough of the ebook pie to go around? I can't help but imagine legions of stay at home moms watching Anderson and deciding to become the next Amanda Hocking. My fear is this, once people see the quality of some of these slap-dash, self-published ebooks there will be a backlash against self-published works which will effectively kill the market by the time I'm ready to self-publish my own work (which will, of course, be the best thing since Harry Potter).
     I'm sure I'm being silly but surely people will only buy so many $0.99 ebooks that suck before they stop buying them at all. If I were a betting woman I'd put my money on an end to the self-publishing free for all. I'm not saying the publishing world will revert to traditional publishing again but I can certainly foresee the proliferation of small "publishing houses" specializing in ebooks. If the quality of self-published ebooks doesn't improve, readers will turn to a gatekeeper of some sort to protect them from the shitstorm outside. That's my two cents anyway. I may well be missing the perfect time to self-publish before people outside the writing community get wise to the lack of quality control in self-published books.
     What are your thoughts? Am I crazy?(None of this is a reflection upon Ms. Hocking's work. I have not read her books. I am referring to other self-published books I stumbled upon unwittingly long before I knew anything about self-publishing ebooks.)


  1. There will always be people looking to buy a bargain at 99 cents. Just like some will avoid those same deals out of fear of quality. Kind of like the kitchen items at the Dollaram verus those at the specialty store. One is $1 the other is $9.99 and then there's the Walmart ones in the middle. The ebook market is similiar in the sense that it will have books to cater to the entire crowd. Or at least that's my view lol. Ebooks are here to stay. So, take your time, write your story. Someone will read it.

  2. Thanks for reading and commenting Eve. I realize now that I was in the throes of an irrational panic when I wrote this post :-)
    I do think boutique e-publishers will increase with the rise of ebooks and authors who want more return on their work but don't want to handle the business end of selling books. Of course, there's no guarantee of quality there either since I'm sure there will be plenty of shoddy "publishers" jumping into the fray.
    In any case, it's sure to be interesting to watch. It's an exciting time to be involved in the business of making and selling books. I shall write my books, work hard and hope for the best.