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Avoiding the Digital Music Trap — 2 Comments

  1. Thanks for the post (and posts), Ted–I’ve just begun to scroll through your very relevant blog. Relevant to the times, and relevant to me.

    I will try to nutshell it–3 agents, 14 editors who wanted one or more of my books, last one got everyone at the house on board except one top dog who vetoed, 12 blurbs from best-selling/award-winning authors–that’s my experience of the last 11 years.

    I’m not sure what to do. I’m wondering if the world has changed sufficiently that the goal I’ve been positioning myself (or position*ed*) for has become the wrong one. Your words about Harper’s success with their e version aside, what I fear is a major will charge an exorbitant price for digital versions ($12.99), turning off the e readers who expect their content for less. And other like mistakes as that big ship tries to turn itself around. Or doesn’t.

    Anyway, thanks again for all the ideas, and best of luck with your own work. If it comes out in print, I will definitely check it out!

    • The more I look, the more I think that publishers are just pricing themselves out of the market for e-books.
      The reality is, $9.99 for an e-book isn’t supporting the author, who gets 35% I think in a publisher deal and there is no cost of delivery. You’re paying for the lifestyle people in the business got used to-and that expense no longer offers much of anything to the reader, who is the point behind this whole thing. They’re not promising you a proof-reader, they’re not promising publicity, they’re over-pricing your book and you’re rolling the dice that they will really exert themselves in any meaningful way to sell it. As they’ve published more and more titles, more and more are being dumped on the market. They’re literally throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks.
      I certainly can’t compete with the resources a major publisher could put up if they really believed in me. But what I’m discovering as I talk to more and more published writers is that they’re not sure what they believe in anymore. Their business model is dissolving under their feet and they haven’t figured out how to replace it–at least, how to replace it and live the way they have (which I suspect is an impossible goal). I have great respect for smaller independent houses and for what the major houses were even twenty or thirty years ago, but today they are dependents in huge corporations that make their money selling movies, action figures and theme park rides.
      You know what? This is too much for a reply. I’m turning this into a post.

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