In the last 9 – 18 months, the publishing world has been turned on its ear – e-readers are on the rise, e-books are outselling paper books, Borders is closing. These are seismic shifts.
It feels like vertigo every time I open my browser.
Notes from the E-Revolution is a new semi-regular feature on the blog (on Fridays),where I’ll be rounding up tidbits from the e-revolution. I try to stay on top of the changes and hope by sharing some of the cool stuff, I can help you too.
Peter Smalley (a new Google+ friend) recently held an e-book signing using Kindlegraph, which “lets authors send personalized inscriptions and signatures (“kindlegraphs”) directly to the electronic reading devices of their fans.”
How cool is that?
Authors: If you have a Kindle book, go to kindlegraph.com, sign up to have your book added to their list. When a reader requests a kindlegraph, you’ll have the opportunity to type a personalized message, attach your signature, and it is emailed to the reader’s Kindle. The “e-signing” is then attached to their e-book on the title page, as well as collected in a kindlegraph book (like a signature book) on their Kindle.
Readers: Go to kindlegraph.com, see which of your favorite authors are listed, and request an e-signing. It will be sent directly to your Kindle!
FOR THE NOOK: If you have a Nook Color, authors can now do in-person signings with a stylus.
Primer on the E-Revolution
Let’s Get Digital: How to Self-Publish and Why You Should by David Gaughran is a book you should read, regardless of whether you intend to self-publish or not.
There are many who still line up in the traditional-publishing vs. self-publishing tug-of-war, vowing a to-the-end throw down over which is best. But increasingly, as the E-Revolution wears on, authors aren’t choosing traditional-pub vs. self-pub – they’re doing BOTH. Traditionally published authors are self-publishing their backlists (one of my favorites is Arthur Slade, who helpfully posts charts and stuff). Self-published authors are being offered traditional publishing deals (here’s the latest). Authors are self-pubbing some books while waiting in the traditional publishing trenches (see my recent interview with Kris Yankee).
Everyone has a stake in understanding this new self-publishing movement.
The second half of Gaughran’s book is a comprehensive how-to for self-publishing, and I recommend that part for those who are heading down that path. But the first half of the book, while making a strong case for why you should self-publish, is actually a concise analysis of the E-Revolution. As such, I think everyone would benefit from reading it. This in particular struck me as the game-changing part of the self-publishing movement:
“But what (traditional publishing advocates) don’t realize is that the rise in self-publishing is good for them too. If you are a trade-published writer with no interest in self-publishing, the increased viability of self-publishing is good for you…With up to 70% royalty rates available through self-publishing, from now on, every time an author negotiates with a publishing house, the publisher will know that the author has another option.”
When in negotiations, having other options always strengthens your hand. Many authors may not seriously consider self-publishing, but the industry as a whole knows the option is there.
Whatever path you choose, it pays to know how the game is being played.
What burning questions do you have about the E-Revolution and would like to see covered in future blog posts?