Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and author David Mamet is the latest in a string of established writers who are starting to self-publish, according to this story from The New York Times. “Basically I am doing this because I am a curmudgeon,” Mamet is quoted as saying. “and because publishing is like Hollywood — nobody ever does the marketing they promise.” Lack of marketing follow-through is often cited as the biggest reason established authors are switching from traditional publishing to a self-pub model. The New York Times article says:
For one thing, as traditional publishers have cut back on marketing, this route allows well-known figures like Mr. Mamet to look after their own publicity. Then there is the money. While self-published authors get no advance, they typically receive 70 percent of sales. A standard contract with a traditional house gives an author an advance, and only pays royalties — the standard is 25 percent of digital sales and 7 to 12 percent of the list price for bound books — after the advance is earned back in sales.
Arisa White, the widely-published Bay Area poet, Cave Canem fellow, and board member of Flying Object, has decided to self-publish her most recent collection dear Gerald in both print and eBook editions, give away a bunch of copies for free, AND solicit responses from readers that she'll use as source material for another book project. Why? Well, I asked her.
An interview with Arisa White about the process of self-publishing her latest poetry collectionI know it's unfair to ask you to summarize a book, but if you could, what's the soundbite about dear Gerald? dear Gerald is a collection of epistolary poems, addressed to my estranged father. There are 35 poems in the collection, if you count the two typographical poems. I started on this project a few years ago when my mother asked me if I wanted to write to my father, who was deported to Guyana for involvement in a criminal case. Last time I remember seeing him, I was three years old, living in Brooklyn, NY. The work tries to make sense of his absence, and all the ways absence shows itself in my life—how absence begets absence, and what does this mean for the quality of our relationships with self and other.
Expand your approach to book sales to include retailers other than bookstores (including online retailers). The more strategic you are about where your book is available, the more likely your target buyers will be to find and buy it.
The following infographic from Encremento provides some fascinating stats on eBook piracy, DRM, and other publishing industry efforts to combat file sharing. But here's the thing: you shouldn't worry about Piracy. It's been years since Amazon's first Kindle came out. Now that so much time has passed, I think it's safe to look at the marketplace and say that the publishing industry will not encounter anything close to the level of piracy suffered by the music industry. Either eBooks and digital music are completely different beasts (they are) or the publishing industry learned from the missteps of their music business counterparts — or a bit of both. But no matter what the reason, the data illustrates that, as always, OBSCURITY is the enemy of independent authors, NOT piracy.
What is metadata? It's data about data – and it's crucial for your eBook.