Like you, I’m an author. And, like you, I’d guess, I offered my manuscript (aka soul) to a plethora of agents only to find my office wall papered with rejection letters. That’s not surprising considering, “The end result is that 1-2% of unsolicited submissions are actually purchased for publication.”
Para Publishing has even more good news:
– 81% of the population feels they have a book inside them.
– 6 million have written a manuscript.
– 6 million manuscripts are making the rounds.
– Out of every 10,000 children’s books, 3 get published.
(Jerrold Jenkins. 15 May 99. http://www.bookpublishing.com)
Makes a writer want to smack the ol’ mouse against his head and say, “What was I thinking?!!” And, at first I did. The computer collected cobwebs while I licked my wounds and applied for a job at Walmart.
But the words wouldn’t go away. They boiled and bubbled and burst forth in my second novel. By then I’d figured out my chances of making a living with this passion didn’t look good – not because I couldn’t write, (if I don’t believe, who will?) but because I lacked brand recognition. I didn’t have Jonathan and Faye as parents (Jesse Kellerman), nor Mary Higgins Clark as a mother (Carol Higgins Clark.) I didn’t play Fonzie (Henry Winkler – children’s book author) or star in True Lies (Jamie Lee Curtis – children’s book author.) My point is not to denigrate any of these authors, but simply to ask the question: Without their celebrity, would they have had any more success penetrating traditional publishing than you or I?
We’ll never know. But, what I do know is that it is up to each of us to develop our brands, whether we self-publish or publish online.
Online publishing appealed to me for a number of reasons:
1) Low Entry Cost – If I couldn’t learn how to market myself, at least I’d have limited my expenditure.
2) Stats on ebook sales looked promising:
– 2004. EBOOK PUBLISHERS REPORTED INCREASES in revenue and unit sales over the same quarter the previous year (Q2 2004) with a 36% increase in eBook units sold and a 69% increase in eBook revenues.
See: http://www.idpf.org/doc_library/statistics/Q22005.htm & http://www.idpf.org/doc_library/industrystats.htm
– 70% of book fair visitors are ready to buy electronic books if they can run them on any computer. 67% are ready to read the, 62% would borrow them from a library. –Open E-Book Forum as reported in Booktech the Magazine, January/February 2003
3) Self-publishing (often) forced me to sell at a price competitive with brand names. I don’t know of any other industry where that strategy works. KIA doesn’t charge BMW prices.
4) Books have become increasingly expensive for the masses, perhaps contributing to declining readership. I wanted to eliminate affordability as a roadblock to experiencing the joy of fantasy, horror, mystery, humor, poetry and romance.
5) “Think Green… Read Online” resonates with me. I like trees. We should let ’em live.
I could provide many stats, but instead suggest that you review them yourself. Para Publishing gives you insights into our industry, our markets, what’s selling, what’s not. Just one word of caution: Use these facts to understand and develop your strategy, not paralyze your passion.
Once I committed to the world of online publishing, it seemed logical to ask other like-minded writers to join me. Together, Independent Authors can experience the “whole is greater than the sum of its parts” phenomena by combining our marketing efforts and creating a place for readers where great fiction (or non-fiction) is still affordable.
Join us at Frugal Fiction and realize the real success of writing – accolades for your unique voice.