Here's an intriguing conversation between JA Konrath and Barry Eisler. I'll let you read what they have to say about indie publishing and the state of legacy publishing as it stands today. If you are a writer and have even a remote notion to self-publish, this post is worth your time.
It re-enforces what I've been feeling since starting my own publishing endeavor.
Konrath is fond of the phrase "virtual bookshelf" and I think it's a wonderful idea.
Essentially, he suggests that the eBook has infinite shelf-time, as opposed to the finite amount of time any given book is allowed upon the shelves of a brick and mortar book store. As a piece of nearly eternal digital content, an eBook that is published today will be available ten, twenty, fifty years from now (as long as there isn't any fundamental redesign of the internet). A writer who publishes today will have royalties coming in forever.
Some might argue that the same can be said of a book produced through legacy publishing; but the paper product has no guarantee that it will remain on bookshelves. An author might put out a book through legacy publishing, but that book may only be on shelves for a few months.
The eBook is available indefinitely.
Think of a snowball tumbling through the void of cyberspace, collecting visitors and viewers and readers, and growing in size as it jumps down the infinite hills of the internet. You see the magic of that tumbling snowball?
The internet never stops.
So your precious snowball has limitless potential.
It's a perfect time for indie writers to step forward and cast a few snowballs into the great open frontier. It isn't like this is a "get rich quick" scheme. It's a revolution. And an evolution of the way that writers get their work to the readers. The playing fields are leveled and writers can actually spend time writing while they're making money.
And that's one of the most important aspects of this whole concept of indie publishing or self-publishing or whatever you decide to name the process. Writers are able to make a living by writing and are able to sustain themselves by writing even more.
With that said, I'm off to work on an upcoming story. Enjoy the link, and definitely check out more of JA Konrath's blog. He is a pioneer in the whole indie publishing revolution; I wouldn't be surprised if there was a statue created in his likeness.