Tuesday, 14 June 2011
Great title for a post, eh?
Controversial, insulting and hyperbolic…
I could have gone with:
‘Why dinosaur big six publishers will destroy the book industry’
…as well of course. Either title would have served exactly the same purpose.
There’s a lot of this going round these days…
A great many people airing their (usually extremely partisan) opinions about this apparent war that’s raging between the traditional publishing industry and the self published authors out there who are taking advantage of the services offered by the likes of Amazon, Smashwords and (provided you’re in the bloody USA) Barnes & Noble.
I’ve stayed out of it and largely kept my opinions to myself - which as anyone who’s read my ‘Life…’ books will know, is extremely difficult for me.
I’ve read a lot though. Countless posts on multiple forums, either defending the position of writers who submit their work traditionally to the big six, or defending those who chose to self publish on the Kindle, other e-readers and via services like Createspace and Lulu.
I think I’ve now read and digested enough to come to the following erudite, considered and well thought out conclusion:
The entire thing is horseshit.
At some point (I’m not sure when. I must have been getting a Starbucks when the meeting was called) lines were drawn in a battle that shouldn’t exist.
In one army are the writers who defend the status quo of traditional publishing, and on the other are the independent writers who chose to self publish.
Wars are generally started between two sides that have opposing ideologies and disagree on important points of view. The most popular probably being summed up as: “My god’s better than yours, cock features.” “No, he isn’t and here’s a sword in your guts to prove it.”
Writers on the traditional publishing side of this particular conflict want to be successful and earn a decent living as a writer, appealing to an audience with their work. On the other hand, writers on the self publishing side of this particular conflict want to be successful and earn a decent living as a writer, appealing to an audience with their work…
Anybody else see a problem here?
In the past few months I’ve seen some real bile, vitriol and hate being thrown about from both sides, with things getting very personal: people banned from forums, awful reviews left of books to destroy sales, derisory and inflammatory comments left on blogs… it just goes on and on.
Seriously… grow the fuck up, the lot of you.
The business of writing is hard enough to manage without authors turning on each other because of some fatuous difference of opinion over who’s method of delivery is better.
One side defends the big six, the other defends Amazon. I’m sure all seven of them couldn’t give a flying fuck how many writers support their practises and delivery methods, providing the profits keep rolling in – which they do and always will. They might get worried if one day all writers start singing from the same hymn sheet though…
You think for one split second the people out there in the book reading audience gives a shit about all this? Of course they don’t. They don’t care how a book gets into their hands, as long as it’s a good book they want to read. They are the ones who hold the power - and always have the final say. Not publishers or authors or retailers.
Yes, the traditional publishers have dragged their heels when it comes to ebooks and are over-charging for them – and yes there is an awful lot of absolute shit being self published every day and slapped up on Amazon for 99c, but does any of that really matter?
It sure as hell doesn’t to me. I’d rather worry about making sure I’ve written the best book I can for an audience that I hope will enjoy my work.
And you know what? I will continue to submit my work to traditional publishers AND self publish other work to the Kindle - because I don’t believe the two are mutually exclusive. A writer should explore every avenue open to them to get their work read by an audience. There’s your ‘new world order’ as far as I’m concerned. That’s the change in mentality sorely in need of adopting.
People bleat on about the future of the publishing industry being either dominated by independent self published authors or traditionally published authors.
Jesus Christ… can’t it just be dominated by authors period, no matter how they chose to get their books in to the hands of the reading public?
Yes, things have changed in publishing with the advent of the Kindle and its counterparts, and the industry is swimming in uncharted waters these days, but whatever happens people will still buy books (wherever they find them) provided said book is good enough to warrant their time and money.
I firmly believe that the authors and publishers who refuse to be a part of this ridiculous argument will be the ones who succeed in the new business model. Those who embrace the new technology - while at the same time appreciating the worth of traditional publishing practises - will be the ones who make the most money, shift the most copies and have the biggest audience share.
I’d very much like to be one of them.
How about you?
Thursday, 9 June 2011
Best selling Amazon
A message from Nick:
I’ve had a lot of excellent feedback from readers over the past few months following the release of Life… With No Breaks and its sequel Life… On A High.
One issue raised by you fine people in the US is that some of the very British phrases and references I use can be a bit confusing, making some of the stories and observations harder to follow.
Therefore, I’ve sat down, worked hard and done a George Lucas-like revision on both books, changing them where necessary so they make more sense to you folk across the pond. The CGI effects alone have cost millions.
So for everyone who puts their garbage in the trash rather than the bin, who takes an elevator, not a lift… and lives in an apartment, not a flat – here are special editions of my books just for you:
Life… With No Breaks: The U.S Edition
Life… On A High: The U.S Edition