Archives for posts with tag: traditional publishing

We’ve got a wonderful little public library that’s a pleasant leafy walk away from home. Tom goes there nearly every week to borrow new magazines and books. We pay a lot of taxes to the city so, in a fair civic exchange, we save a bit of money in the cost of magazine subscriptions.

My mother always had a lot of magazines around and I learned to read with them. I love magazines to this day and regularly look over science magazines for research and ideas.

If the new issue is there, Tom will check out for me a writer’s magazine aimed squarely at aspiring writers. Ads for writers’ conventions, editors-for-hire, contests with entry fees, and other gimmicks to pick the unwary author’s pocket abound. But I glance the articles over in case I find any useful information and sometimes I do.

An article about “Partnership Publishing” from a recent issue caught my attention and I want to alert you, too. The article was written by a “literary agent” who “guides” aspiring authors into what I can only call yet another scam. One wonders who pays the agent’s commission—the unwary author who retains her or the “partnership publishers” she lines them up with. Maybe both.

Here’s how her spin starts out (and I quote):

“Authors embracing partnership publishing….are often tired of the hoops they have to jump through for the implied ‘stamp of legitimacy’ conferred by the traditional publishing industry.”

Okay, so are independent authors tired of the hoops. But independent authors can publish their books virtually for free if they’re willing to invest a little time in researching format, editing and proofing their own work, and learning how to put together a nice cover. None of those tasks are impossible or expensive.

The article goes on with the sales pitch: “Partnership publishers are modeled on traditional presses….Partnership presses typically publish their books in both print and e-formats and the traditional print distribution they offer is a big selling point as the self-pub world turns ever more digital.”

Hmm. Well, you as an independent author can also publish your book in print and ebook formats. But it’s quite true, independents still can’t compete with traditional publishers and traditional print distribution. This, as I’ve noted before in this blog, is the major hurdle for independent publishing. I haven’t seen it surmounted by anyone or any publisher yet other than a Big Five imprint.

Now the article tosses a sweetener into the mix: “While many review outlets are still trying to figure out how to classify partnership books, as of July 2014 Publishers Weekly began allowing partnership and other “hybrid” publishers to submit for reviews.”

Well, yes. Publishers Weekly also allows independently published books to be submitted for reviews—for $175 per six months. An established review venue like Book List will take your book for review—for a couple thousand bucks, including an ad. And on it goes. Everybody’s out to offer authors traditional services–for a price. It’s disgusting. And for the record, I haven’t seen any books published by partnership publishers on any bestseller list nor have I heard of any of these publishers prior to reading this article.

And now for clincher (I quote from the article again):

“Authors bear not only the cost of editing and production, but marketing and publicity…Partnership publishing is curated with a focus on quality and marketability. Partnership publishers—often staffed by seasoned book professionals, including acquisition editors and knowledgeable publishers at the helm—vet submissions just as traditional publishers do, culling those they feel have the greatest potential.”

Wait, wait. You have to pay to jump through those tired old hoops imposed by traditional publishers? And who are these acquisition editors? If they’re seasoned book professionals, why are they working for a scam like this instead of for a legitimate publisher?

And now for the sticker price:

“For some authors, the cost of partnership publishing can seem prohibitive…Authors who’ve selected pay-to-publish models have found it to be a $ 5,000–$ 10,000 investment, not including printing costs.”

Let me get this straight: one of these publishers is going to turn down an author willing and able to pony up ten grand to be “selected”? Are you kidding me?

So there you have it, my friends. If you simply want to write your memoirs and send copies to your family and friends, you can easily do that with some research into formatting and cover creation and do it yourself for free or a minimal cost. If you’ve got a compelling story to tell and want to present that to the world but feel you need help with editing, proofreading, and cover creation, you need only google people who will do any of those tasks for a price and, after researching them, hire someone yourself. You don’t need a middleman for that!

And if you want to become a professional writer, you need to educate yourself, read extensively, work hard, take your work out to professional markets, and take your chances.

As I’ve written in this blog many, many times, being a writer isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme!

Previous blog in this series:

State of the Biz: Publishing 2015, Part 1: Is Independent Publishing Dead? https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/12/08/state-of-the-biz-publishing-2015-part-1-is-independent-publishing-dead-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing 2015, Part 2: The Smashwords Speech: What Does It Mean? https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/12/19/state-of-the-biz-publishing-2015-part-2-the-smashwords-speech-what-does-it-mean-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo.
Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Australia.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, “Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy,” on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo;
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories, five-star rated, “A fantastic collection,” on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story on Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo;
My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is also on Amazon.com worldwide in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, at Sony, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

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I picked up this speech from Publisher’s Weekly after receiving Mark Coker’s Smashwords blog distributed to authors, which puts a considerably gloomier spin on publishing in 2015. I’m quoting this verbatim with my comments interjected here and there:

PW: “Self-publishing isn’t going anywhere, and Smashwords’ Mark Coker recently took a look at how we got here.”

LM Comment: An unfortunate choice of words. I thought PW was going to say ‘Self-publishing is dying.’ What they meant to say is, ‘Self-publishing is here to stay.’

PW:The Self-Publishing Book Expo was held in New York City recently with Coker giving the keynote address. Several trends have led to the explosion of self-publishing, and many of those reasons have allowed Smashwords to grow into a leading distributor of e-books.

Here were Coker’s 10 trends in the self-publishing marketplace:

Coker: 1. Rise of ebooks
When Smashwords was incorporated in 2007, e-books accounted for one-half of one percent of the market, according to Coker. Amazon brought a lot of attention to the ebook market and it starting growing exponentially, Coker said.

“Today around 35 percent measured in dollar terms of the overall publishing market goes to ebooks and for some genres it’s even higher,” Coker said. “Print is not dead though. The growth of e-books has slowed. I think e-books will continue to grow of books purchased and read but at a much lower rate.”

LM Comment: ‘Measured in dollar terms.’ This means independent authors claim much higher percentage of revenues per title than traditional authors, which is quite true. As a percentage share of total books sold, however, ebooks remain at about ten percent of the total book market. I’ve noted that independent authors who also invest in print books (and it’s an out-of-pocket expense) sell about ten times more ebooks than of their print books. For traditional authors, this percentage skews just the other way, ten times more print books than ebooks. Why? Because independent print books still can’t begin to compete with the big distribution channels of traditional publishers.

Coker: “2. Trends in publishing tools
“The printing press is free and available to you, the knowledge is free and available to you,” Coker said “You have the knowledge and tools to publish like a professional and writers are taking advantages of these tools. It allows writers to go faster to market.”

LM Comment: Publishing ebooks is free with knowledge about formatting and such. But that’s not the same thing as ‘printing press,’ which implies print books and is not free at all.

Coker: “3. Self-publishing authors hitting best sellers lists
Self-published authors appear on every major ebook retailer’s best-sellers list, along with USA Today and the New York Times lists. Coker predicts this will only become the norm.

“By year 2020, 50 percent of the ebook market will be controlled by indie authors.”

LM Comment: But if expansion of the ebook market is slowing and the glut of free or 99 cent content is bloating, ‘50 percent of the ebook market’ is a misleading statistic. If the ebook market remains only ten percent of the total book market, that’s 50 percent of not very much.

Coker: “4. Stigma of self-publishing disappearing
“Six years ago, self-publishing was viewed as an option of last resort, it was viewed as a place for failed writers,” Coker said. “(Indie authors) realize now their books can be as a good or better than what is published by New York.”

With that, however, Coker notes the stigma of traditional publishing increases with much of it being self-inflicted. Examples include traditional publishers pricing ebooks too high, not publishing fast enough and aren’t giving authors enough control.

LM Comment: This is an interesting twist often employed by propagandists—to conflate or equate a single term in two different contexts without noting the difference. Confusing? I think so. He was talking about the “stigma” of indies, then switches to the “stigma” of traditionals. Traditional publishing has no stigma. The business is riddled with serious problems but I doubt anyone would say traditional publishing has a stigma.

Coker: “5. Traditional publishers don’t yet understand the indie author movement
A shining example was Pearson Penguin buying Author Solutions, a self-publishing company that has exploited authors.

“This acquisition confirmed the worst fear of many authors that their publishers don’t care about them,” Coker said. “I know that’s not true. I met so many people in the publishing industry. Publishers do care about authors, they care about people but this was a big mistake that they made, getting into vanity publishing.

“It was a mistake for a publisher to take money from a writer; they should never take money from a writer. The money should flow from readers to publishers to writers and not the other way around.”

LM Comment: Amen to this. In the next blog, I’ll tell you about what I’ve learned about “Partnership Publishing.” But here’s the first warning flag—if anyone approaches you as an author to engage in “partnership publishing,” check your handbag and pockets to make sure you’ve still got your wallet and run away. Fast.

Coker: “6. Rise of e-books subscription services
Oyster and Scribd are the fastest growing distribution channels at Smashwords.

LM Comment: My Smashwords titles have done well at Oyster and Scribd. But then, in July 2014, along came Amazon.com with Kindle Unlimited, a subscription service that offers readers free books, and purports to pay authors a percentage from a “fund” for every free borrow. Please see the previous blog in this series for my description of the serious detriment to authors resulting from KU.

Coker: “7. Amazon vs. Hachette
A deal was recently reached between Amazon and Hachette.

“It looks like Hachette prevailed with the ability to control ebooks, but this dispute revealed a lot of ugliness in the industry,” Coker said. “It created a lot of division. We saw authors attacking authors with people who took sides. It was unfortunate it devolved into that, but the dispute gave many publishers insight into Amazon’s strategy.”

Coker notes that Amazon is in the business of controlling its suppliers. Amazon views books as commodities and puts “the squeeze” on suppliers so they can offer consumers lower prices.

“Publishers don’t like being treated they are selling a commodity. This isn’t a product that could be outsourced to China,” Coker said. “This is a product that is created by writers like yourselves.”

Amazon will also put a large emphasis on its own books under its publishing umbrella.

“They have the right to decide what books they are going promote and what they have shown is that they are going to give a merchandising and discovery advantage to books that are published under Amazon and nowhere else,” Coker said. “Exclusivity is going to be core for them going forward.”

LM Comment: One of the most serious problems with traditional publishing is that they DO treat books like widgets. If a book doesn’t sell what they feel is an adequate number in a short period of time, the book is yanked out of print, and the author can’t do a thing about it. So while it’s quite true no business can outsource books, especially fiction, to China, the notion that traditional publishers aren’t treating books as a commodity is laughable. That’s why the independent publishing revolution arose in the first place, driven by many traditional authors like yours truly whose books were not treated well by traditional publishers.

Coker: “8. E-books going global
Last year, 45 percent of sales through Apple iBooks came from outside of the U.S. (on Smashwords).

LM Comment: Hooray for worldwide readers! But the huge question remains, how does an author become visible in media blizzard?

Coker: “9. Self-publishing leading to a tsunami of low quality books, but they are invisible
“Readers don’t respond to poor quality books,” Coker said. “The flip side is that it’s leading to tsunami of high quality books and enables more high quality books to be published like never before. That’s why self-publishing is so great, by allowing everything to be published, amazing works of brilliance are allowed to be published.”

LM Comment: Sadly, no they’re not invisible. They’re everywhere.

Coker: “10. For authors, everything gets tougher from here on out
“Like cobwebs of stainless steel, ebooks are immortal,” Coker said. “They will always be on the shelf. They will never be out of print. This is both good and bad. Self-published means you can earn you annuities for the rest of your life, but also means more competition, and the competition is going to get fiercer and fiercer every single year.”

Coker notes that supply of books will likely surpass the amount of people available to read them all. Therefore, it will make the road a bit more difficult even for those seeking the traditional route.

“For authors perusing traditional paths, lower advances, fewer publishers and fewer agents,” Coker said. “And for all authors it means it’s going to be tough to stand out.”

However, Coker’s own story about having to borrow money to keep Smashwords afloat in the beginning led to his last point to the authors at the Self-Publishing Book Expo.

“This is not the time to quit. This is the time to start,” he said. “Even though the future is challenging, there has never been a better time to publish. You now have access to a global market of millions of readers who are looking to discover the very best books.”

So there you have it, my friends. Coker’s speech to an independent publishing convention was quite different from the 2015 predictions blog he sent to Smashwords authors and the last point of the speech is the gist of the State of the Biz in 2015. Times are tough, there’s a hustler born every minute, and packagers and marketers and middlepersons and gatekeepers are scheming like mad how to get the talent’s money.

To me, this statement of Coker’s is the most salient: “It’s a mistake for a publisher to take money from a writer; they should never take money from a writer. The money should flow from readers to publishers to writers and not the other way around.”

In the next few blogs in this series, I’ll tell you what I’ve learned about “partnership publishing” and about true “hybrid publishing.”

Previous blog in this series:

State of the Biz: Publishing 2015, Part 1: Is Independent Publishing Dead? https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/12/08/state-of-the-biz-publishing-2015-part-1-is-independent-publishing-dead-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo.
Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Australia.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, “Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy,” on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo;
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories, five-star rated, “A fantastic collection,” on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story on Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo;
My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is also on Amazon.com worldwide in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, at Sony, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

In October, 2013 I started a series of conversations with my acquaintance, the author Elle Emerson. I don’t have the link handy, but if you scroll back on WordPress to October 19, 2013, you’ll find our first conversation, which I entitled “Tales of Woe.”

Twenty years ago, Ms. Emerson began publishing stories in professional magazines and then books with two of the Big Five Publishers. She got good reviews, award nominations, and even a New York Times Notable Book designation.

But she didn’t get enough of a readership in a short enough timeframe and the Big Publishers crushed her career.

She knows a lot and has experienced a lot and I wanted to interview her and set out our conversations here.

I’ve been after her for months to tell me more. I regret to tell you she just called me and has declined to proceed further.

When I asked her why, she said, “Plenty of authors are writing about the problems with traditional publishing. The New York Times recently ran an article by a successful author who explained why she’s self-publishing her new book. Another author has written extensively in her blog about her problems. I don’t want to go there. However legitimate, these types of confessions sound like complaining. And I don’t see how it does anyone any good. If you’re traditionally published, you already know the score. If you’re not, you’ll probably never have to deal with it.” She laughed. “You’ll have to deal with self-publishing.”

Well, okay. Could she summarize her experiences?

“Sure,” she said. “Arrogant, careless, incompetent, lazy, disloyal literary agents.” [Note: Ms. Emerson has hired and fired five big agents.] “And arrogant, careless, incompetent, lazy, disloyal book editors.”

Could she give me some examples?

“Okay,” she said. “An editor who is no longer in publishing at all went off on his vacation to Italy after neglecting to include my Author’s Bio in the first edition of what was my biggest book. The book had to launch without it. This same editor withheld the payment of an advance after I had turned in my book. The editor had approved the book and was required under contract to pay me. But he stalled anyway as sort of a passive=aggressive power move even though my husband had just had surgery and we really needed the money. I had to get down on my hands and knees and beg for money I was legally and promptly owed.”

Wow. I was starting to get the picture. I should add, Ms. Emerson is an attractive, positive, cooperative, brilliant, business-savvy woman, as well as being talented and dedicated.

I was intrigued by her last words in our October interview. She had said: “I’ve been abused for years by the publishing business. The publishing business is just like a toxic parent.” What did she mean by that?

“If you’re a child with a toxic parent, you are totally dominated by that parent,” she said. “The parent controls your time, your activities, and your means of support. S/he demands that you meet every requirement the parent sets out, demands you abide by the parent’s rules, demands your loyalty and your love. In return, the parent doesn’t have to do anything. The parent can be cruel, withholding, manipulative, and careless, and you the child can’t do anything about it.”

“So traditional publishing is like that?” I said. I must tell you, she was making me nervous.

“You got it,” she said.

“What about independent publishing?” I wanted her opinion on this.

“It’s a time-consuming and expensive hobby that may or may not enable you to make a tiny living,” she said with a laugh. “I think there’s a lot of luck involved along with the hard work.”

So there you have it, my friends. “I have to get on with my life,” Ms. Emerson told me and ended the call. So do we all. I thanked her and said goodbye.

Previous Blogs in this Series:

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 1: Introduction https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/03/18/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-1-introduction-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond Part 2: Who’s Reading? https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/04/07/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-2-whos-reading-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond Part 3: The Shady Case of Fifty Shades https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/04/17/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-3-the-shady-case-of-fifty-shades-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond Part 4: The Comet and the Long Tail Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-4-the-comet-and-the-long-tail-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 5: Authors’ Market Share Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/07/02/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-5-authors-market-share-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 6: Ebooks Versus Print Books Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/07/18/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-6-ebooks-versus-print-books-lisa-mason-sfwapro

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 7: Unlimited or Not Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/08/08/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-7-unlimited-or-not-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 8: Print Books in 2013 Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/08/13/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-8-print-books-in-2013-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 9: Amazon Vs Hatchett Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/08/16/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-9-amazon-vs-hatchett-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony. Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords. The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, “Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy,” on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords. The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony; Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories, five-star rated, “A fantastic collection,” on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony. Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story on Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo; My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is also on Amazon.com worldwide in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, at Sony, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters. Thank you for your readership!

No comment.

Seriously, if you have the time and inclination to follow this latest crisis in publishing, you only need to Google the title above to find ten thousand opinions and renditions of it.

One of the most absurd developments is multi-billion-dollar corporations soliciting the support of the people typically lowest and most powerless on their totem power—the Authors.

“What?” you say. “Aren’t writers the source of the content for both these corporations? Without authors, would they have any business to run?”

That’s right. But unless you as an author become like Stephenie Meyer or Suzanne Collins, you are one of thousands to a traditional publisher. Meaning, as I’ve detailed in this Blog Series and in the Crunching the Numbers Blog Series, They Don’t Care.

And Amazon? Amazon—and Smashwords, less so Barnes and Noble—has always been pro-author, especially independent authors. I, among many, am grateful for the opportunity to revitalize my backlist, find new readers, and even develop new projects without the interference of literary agents and editors.

One positive development in the dispute? Sensitive to the charge that Amazon offers “pre-orders” to traditional publishers but not to independent publishers, Amazon has just this week introduced a “pre-order” functionality for independent publishers and authors. (That’s another topic. Smashwords offers pre-orders, too.  I haven’t had a new title since the strategy became available, so I don’t have experience with it yet. When I do, I’ll let you know how it works and whether it works.)

If Amazon engages in business practices that Hatchett and its authors disapprove of, we can all come to our judgment about that. I personally have no business with Hatchett at the moment.

One issue that Amazon has pursued in the litigation is that Hatchett charges too much for its e-books. Amazon has sounded a call for lower ebook prices from traditional publishers.

I strenuously object. That independent publishers and authors can offer ebooks at prices much lower than traditional publishers is our one main competitive advantage. I can offer you a quality acclaimed work like Summer of Love for $ 7.99 instead of $ 14.99. I applaud Hatchett charging $ 14.99 and up for its ebooks. Go for it.

I’ve been personally solicited to sign petitions by both corporations and have declined to participate in either.

So there you have it, my friends. What authors have to say will mostly likely amount to little, if nothing. Stay informed, but don’t lose any sleep over this dispute.

Previous Blogs in this Series:

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 1: Introduction https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/03/18/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-1-introduction-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond Part 2: Who’s Reading? https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/04/07/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-2-whos-reading-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond Part 3: The Shady Case of Fifty Shades https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/04/17/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-3-the-shady-case-of-fifty-shades-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond Part 4: The Comet and the Long Tail Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-4-the-comet-and-the-long-tail-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 5: Authors’ Market Share Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/07/02/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-5-authors-market-share-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 6: Ebooks Versus Print Books Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/07/18/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-6-ebooks-versus-print-books-lisa-mason-sfwapro

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 7: Unlimited or Not Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/08/08/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-7-unlimited-or-not-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 8: Print Books in 2013 Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/08/13/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-8-print-books-in-2013-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony. Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords. The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, “Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy,” on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords. The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony; Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories, five-star rated, “A fantastic collection,” on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony. Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story on Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo; My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is also on Amazon.com worldwide in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, at Sony, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters. Thank you for your readership!

This just in from Publisher’s Weekly:

“Bowker released its estimates of print book production for 2013, noting that what they call “traditional” output–which includes self-publishers like CreateSpace, but excludes public domain POD factories like BiblioBazaar — dipped 2 percent from 309,957 titles in 2012 to a projected 304,912 titles in 2013. Despite the decline as compared to the previous year (and general growth in the several years before then) Bowker said the result “points to a relatively stable market for print works despite competition from e-books.”

The public domain business (or what Bowker refers to as “nontraditional” titles) declined far more significantly, to 1,108,183 titles, a decrease of 46 percent from its production of 2,042,840 titles in 2012. It’s important to remember, as we have reminded in the past, that Bowker’s official stats continue to measure only books issued in print form (including print on demand). They still do not tabulate counts for ebooks issued during the year, so the numbers clearly under-represent the actual amount of new volumes coming to market.

Among “traditional” titles, fiction remains the largest single category with 50,000 titles, a slight increase from the previous year, with the broad listing of juveniles second at 33,000 titles, followed by sociology/economics at 29,300 titles.”

What does that mean for you and me?

It’s pretty dire. If you’re a traditionally published author, expect advances, print runs, and publishers’ commitment to you to decline. Get ready to have your series discontinued. I’m sorry to say it, but that’s the way publishing (or any business) is. When sales decline, expenses are cut.

If you’re an independently published author and considering financing a print-on-demand print book, think again. If you don’t know HTML, you’ll have to hire someone who does. If you use CreateSpace, the only place you’ll be able to distribute your books is on Amazon.com, which owns CreateSpace. Not other on-line retailer will list your book (hint: they hate Amazon.com). If you actually do a print run, most independent bookstores won’t stock your book.

As I cautioned you in State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 6: Ebooks Versus Print Books, print books are a very risky business for you.

So there you have it, my friends. Just saying.

Previous Blogs in this Series:

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 1: Introduction https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/03/18/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-1-introduction-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond Part 2: Who’s Reading? https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/04/07/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-2-whos-reading-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond Part 3: The Shady Case of Fifty Shades https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/04/17/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-3-the-shady-case-of-fifty-shades-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond Part 4: The Comet and the Long Tail Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-4-the-comet-and-the-long-tail-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 5: Authors’ Market Share Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/07/02/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-5-authors-market-share-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 6: Ebooks Versus Print Books Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/07/18/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-6-ebooks-versus-print-books-lisa-mason-sfwapro

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 7: Unlimited or Not Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/08/08/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-7-unlimited-or-not-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony. Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords. The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, “Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy,” on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords. The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony; Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories, five-star rated, “A fantastic collection,” on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony. Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story on Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo; My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is also on Amazon.com worldwide in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, at Sony, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters. Thank you for your readership!

I love print books. I love to hold them, relax anywhere with an adequate light source and a good book. My husband, Tom Robinson, and I must own about 25,000 books (Tom has dealt rare books and been a partner in various Bay Area bookstores).

But the ebook revolution of a mere four years ago has been a huge boon both to professional authors and those authors who have chosen or been forced to choose independent publishing. Independent publishing gives an author power and freedom over his or her career, from choosing one’s own cover art, to deadlines, to far greater royalties than a traditional author earns on an ebook.

In a previous blog, I noted that Smashwords predicts independent authors will command fifty percent of the ebook market and ebook earnings within the next five years. And as people are becoming more acclimated to ereaders and appreciating the ease and modernity of them, more readers of print books will buy readers and ebooks.

In a mere four years, ebooks have gone from ten percent of the total book market to thirty percent and more. All the Big Publishers are making hundreds of millions of dollars on ebooks!

But thirty percent leaves seventy percent of books sold to the print market.

You may be tempted as an independent author to jump feet first into print publishing. If you and your family have enough income to afford an expensive hobby, go for it. But there are many reasons for independently published authors to exercise caution before investing in a print edition of their books.

First, it has always been expensive to self-publish a print book and still is. Createspace tells authors they can create a print book for free, but immediately there’s a huge caveat attached to that. You have to know HTML programming and have a good design sense. If you don’t, you can’t do it on your own for free. You’ll need the Createspace team to help you—for a hefty price.

Createspace is a subsidiary of Amazon.com. Most independent bookstores out there and the one major remaining bookstore chain, Barnes and Noble, refuse to stock Createspace books.

Plenty of other self-publishing businesses are out there and eager to take your money. Some are out-and-out scams.

But let’s assume you can handle all that and want to produce your book in print, anyway. Great! Be advised there’s another huge problem.

You can’t compete with the Big Publishers and Big Media.

Even if a Big Publisher doesn’t lift a finger to publicize an author’s book, that book still gets listed in a catalog of forthcoming books that goes out to all the bookstores, may be submitted for review in trade journals and newspapers, and gets listed on the Big Publisher’s website.

Independent authors have competed well with ebooks, but even the best don’t do well when it comes to their print books. I’ve been following various authors, including authors promoted on the Kindle Direct monthly newsletter. In every case, an author who may have a fairly high-ranking ebook lags way, way behind with his or her print book.

So there you have it, my friends. Until private people can compete with Big Media—and I don’t see that happening any time soon—you’re better off producing an ebook at little or no cost but your time (which isn’t free, I know!) than tilting at windmills with a print book. Sad, but true.

There are a few other tools that you can use, however. Namely write a brilliant book, produce it up to professional standards, write more books, and pursue hybrid publishing. I’ll address those tools in upcoming blogs.

Previous Blogs in this Series:

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 1: Introduction https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/03/18/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-1-introduction-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond Part 2: Who’s Reading? https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/04/07/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-2-whos-reading-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond Part 3: The Shady Case of Fifty Shades https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/04/17/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-3-the-shady-case-of-fifty-shades-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond Part 4: The Comet and the Long Tail Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-4-the-comet-and-the-long-tail-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 5: Authors’ Market Share Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/07/02/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-5-authors-market-share-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony. Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords. The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, “Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy,”on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords. The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony; Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories, five-star rated, “A fantastic collection,” on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony. Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story on Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo; My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is also on Amazon.com worldwide in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, at Sony, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.

Thank you for your readership!

In a blog Smashwords founder Mark Coker posted earlier this year, he discussed the issues of ebook pricing and royalty percentages among independent authors versus traditionally published authors. I discussed that issue, too, in my “Crunching the Numbers” blogs, the links to which I include below.

So I won’t repeat that material here. The gist of it is: an independent author is able to charge a competitively lower ebook price than a traditional publisher (a traditionally published author has no power to set the price at all). This is because an independent doesn’t have to support a Manhattan skyscraper, the costly print side of the business, or a high-priced staff. I would contend that professional authors (that is, authors previously or presently traditionally published, like me) but first-time and totally independent authors, too, are capable of producing an ebook with the quality (content and appearance) of a traditionally published book.

How does an independent potentially earn more if her ebook is priced lower than a traditionally published ebook? Because the independent earns a 70% royalty of the ebook’s price, as opposed to the 10—25% royalty paid by traditional publishers to their authors.

And traditional authors only earn that amount every six months, and the amount is funneled through the author’s literary agent, which adds yet more wait time. Whereas independents collect their royalties every month (two months after the close of the sales period, but if you earn royalties every month, as I do, that amounts to monthly checks from all the retailer sites on which you list your ebook. Every three months (quarterly) from Smashwords from the numerous e-sites they distribute your book to.)

That’s all well and good. But the question remains: how can independents compete against traditional publishing with its Big Media marketing power?

Mark Coker asserted in his blog that independents are capturing more and more of the market share of ebook earnings. He predicts that independents’ market share of ebook earnings in 2014 could approach 60%. He predicts the independents will capture an increased market share in the years ahead, with independent authors (collectively, mind you) earning half of all ebook sales and four times the amount of royalties earned by traditionally published authors by the year 2020.

For every dollar of ebook revenue earned, the independent author earns 70 cents, whereas the traditional author earns 15 cents.

I appreciate Mark Coker and Smashwords very much, but bear in mind he’s got a vested interest in getting you excited by the prospect of ebooks. He and Smashwords earn money when you list with them.

Mr. Coker admits this assessment doesn’t include traditional advances paid by big publishers to authors and the sad fact that the great majority of advances never “earn out” (earn revenue at those low traditional royalty rates to pay back the advance). This is one of my greatest objections to traditional publishing. Not that the publisher failed to accurately assess the commercial appeal of a book (as Mr. Coker asserts), but that the publisher doesn’t give an author a print-run and media exposure to give the book a fighting chance to earn out.

Mr. Coker also assumes that print books will continue to decline in importance. That may be so, but I still think many avid readers want to hold a glossy book in their hands.

These days, of course, young people are being taught to go to all things digital. It may be that, by 2020, ereaders will more common on the beach or in the park as the print books I continue to see on people’s laps.

Mr. Coker correctly notes the inventory of high-quality ebooks that never go out of print means those books must compete with the steady stream of new releases. Every author—independent and traditional—will be competing for a limited number of avid readers.

Competition has always been fierce in publishing. It will become fiercer.

Mr. Coker sets out 10 reasons why independent authors will capture 50% of the ebook market by 2020. Many of his speculations are assumed in the list. I’ll summarize it here. My comments follow each point in paranthese:

1. Print will continue to decline as more readers transition from page to screen. (That’s a huge speculation.)

2. More brick-and-mortar bookstores will go out of business. (The closure of stores has loomed large in this last decade. But old stores find ways of surviving, people still love their local bookstore, and new stores are slowly cropping up. So I don’t know.)

3. The perceived value of a publisher will decline to traditional authors as print declines. Traditional authors will explore independent publishing. (Absolutely true. Every traditionally published author I know has his/her own publishing company and ebooks for his/her backlist. Including me.)

4. Independent authors have become more professional in producing better books. (Probably true, but a lot of detritus remains out there.)

5. The number of self-published books will explode. (Yep.)

6. Independent authors mentor other independents. (I haven’t seen this at all.)

7. The stigma of self-publishing is vanishing. (Probably true.)

8. Authors are discovering the ease, power, and satisfaction of self-publishing. (Absolutely true, for the reasons I set out above. There are even more reasons I haven’t mentioned.)

9. Readers don’t care who the publisher is. (Probably true, but I can’t say for sure.)

10. Professional writers are becoming more disgusted and alienated by the traditional literary agent/big publisher business model. (Absolutely true.)

All this raises a plethora of other questions. What percentage of the total book market do ebooks represent? The Hatchett Book Group, one of the Big Five Publishers, recently reported that 30% of its billion-dollar earnings in 2013 were from ebooks. That’s a stunning number. A mere four years ago, the percentage was only 10%, at best. So this is real progress. Yet 30% leaves the other 70% of the book market to print books.

That remains not a very good percentage.

The all-important issues of readership and market exposure loom large over independent authors. And the issues of quality of the writing and professionalism. A career path of hybrid publishing looks very promising, and traditional publishers and literary agents are starting to bow to a reality they never wanted to acknowledge before. I’ll address these issues in later blogs.

So there you have it, my friends. The news is good, but still not reason to break out the champagne. Being an author was never a get-rich-quick scheme. It remains a calling requiring your dedication, hard work, talent, and time.

Previous Blogs in this Series:

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 1: Introduction https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/03/18/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-1-introduction-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond Part 2: Who’s Reading? https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/04/07/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-2-whos-reading-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond Part 3: The Shady Case of Fifty Shades https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/04/17/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-3-the-shady-case-of-fifty-shades-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond Part 4: The Comet and the Long Tail Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-4-the-comet-and-the-long-tail-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony. Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords. The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, “Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy,”on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords. The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony; Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories, five-star rated, “A fantastic collection,” on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony. Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story on Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo; My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is also on Amazon.com worldwide in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, at Sony, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters. Thank you for your readership!

Your participation really matters. Thank you for your readership!