I’ve said for years that the traditional publishing industry is not only overcharging, but is limiting reader’s choices. This isn’t just from a hope for selfish gain, but it’s based on fact. For example, a typical author published by a traditional publisher will charge the same price for an ebook as they will for a hardback or paperback. Do you know how much it costs to publish an ebook? Absolutely nothing. If you know how to format the manuscript (and this information is available online and through free guides on Amazon and Smashwords), then you can do it for free. That’s why indie authors can afford to price their books lower than people going through the traditional route. We don’t have an agent and publisher needing a cut of the cash, so we don’t have to inflate the price to make a profit.
Of course, self publishing isn’t entirely free. We do have to pay graphic artists to design our covers. Editors and proofreaders can be exhorbantly expensive, which is why so many of us gather a tribe of beta readers to do read swaps. Sometimes, it pays to hire out these services. Sometimes, the purse strings tighten, and we have to improvise. A good indie author who is serious about their writing will do whatever it takes to make their book the best it can be and deliver a quality product for readers. Then, of course, we have to promote, and the better promotions also cost money.
We love books too, and we understand the stigma of the “sloppy self published” book. Fortunately, I think ebooks have evolved to the point where it’s obvious when a writer put in the correct time and effort, and when an amateur threw together a product and puked it through the “publish” button. Readers are pretty smart, and a passionate writer wants to deliver the best book to you at the best price.
Our goal for Indie April isn’t to dispel myths or spam your timeline with book links. We want to raise awareness of our presence. We want readers to know that there’s more out there than what traditional publishers offer. There are some real gems in indie books. I pray you discover some new favorite authors this month as you peruse the posts. It isn’t about competition. It’s about offering readers more choice, and hoping that our work will entertain and inspire you in that magical way that a good book does. We want to be part of that magic and offer it to readers in a way that’s accessible. We love books, too!
And who knows? The tide may be turning in the book industry. Indies may just become the new mainstream as we continue to grow, both on Amazon and through other book markets. We have more options, and so do you!
That’s all today. Take care, and have a great rest of the week.