Sunday, December 18, 2011
It's a BOOK!!
With the way of the world heading all digital, I have to ask, how long do you think it will take before there are no longer printed books available? I still love the way a printed book feels in my hands. There is nothing like turning the pages and getting lost in the worlds writers provide for us.
So with that being said, I can't ignore the other side of the coin. I can download books to the app on my phone and take them where ever I go. The time of day doesn't matter because the screen lights up, allowing me to be transported to another reality. Also the real truth is I'm also a gadget geek. I LOVE gadgets. They are fun to play with.
Does this mean that one day our grandchildren will be asking what we are holding when we pick up an old favorite from our shelves? Will print ever really be gone or will it become more of a collector's item like so many other things that time has forgotten?
An article published by Smarthouse states, " eBooks Could Cost More Than Print If Publishers Get Their Way" If this is true, then there might be a possibility that print media won't go silent into the night. It won't disappear completely.
To me, this isn't a bad thing. I do want to know what this means for writers. Is big business making it impossible for writers to be paid and why aren't writers paid more? After all, we are the reason those companies are in business as it is.
Digital books cost less to produce transport and store, and these savings may not have been passed on to readers. Mass-market paperbacks are usually sold at the same price in paper or e-ink. And yet a $7.99 ebook will generate a profit of around $3.80 for a publisher, under the agency model. The margin shrinks to $2.25 for the physical version.
If this is true then why are writers who land on the best seller lists still making an average of 20 to 50 thousand dollars a year? Why are the profits not going to writers when we are the creators and when we no longer have a budget for PR given to us to market our work to make more sales?
Whether or not print leaves this planet and becomes nothing more than an old piece of nostalgia sold at auctions or not, is really not the heart of the whole issue. It's a book and between the pages rests invisible blood from each stories creator. We don't write to get rich, we write and create because we love to. Big business is in trouble though and people are starting to feel the crunch. Small publishing companies, like World Castle Publishing, are taking risks on projects that are less likely to be considered by bigger companies because they think outside the box. The risks are starting to pay off in dividends and many unknown writers are starting to build their own following.
Self published writers are taking the time to hire good freelance editors and cover artists to help put out good quality work. Others are starting their own publishing companies with the help of places like Smashwords, Createspace and other sources. These are also biting into big business and allowing the newer writers to have a chance. Yes, the work is twice as hard. However, if you have a product like my friends Mike Saxton, Elizabeth Kolodziej or Beth Muscat, then you are really getting a good story and being entertained.
Really, what makes a good book? It's the ability to tell a story that draws the reader in. It isn't big or small business. Its the hard work that has been put into each and every word. It's a book...more than a book....it's a world you can carry around no matter what delivery system you choose to use.
Copyright by Joann H. Buchanan