Here is yet another “Wah – the book is dead and western culture is dying along with it” article, this time by one Ewan Morrison. The Guardian seems to have cornered the market in doom and gloom articles about the future of publishing, since there is a new one every week or so.
Joe Konrath believes that the print distribution deal John Locke made with Simon and Schuster is yet another sign of the apocalypse that will sweep publishing as we know it away. Unlike Mr. Doom and Gloom from the Guardian, however, Joe Konrath is positively gleeful about this.
Another hot topic at the moment seems to be authors and publishers selling e-books directly via their websites.Joe Konrath, Blake Crouch and David Gaughran all weigh in. This older post by Moriah Jovan of B10 mediaworx tackles the issue as well.
A webstore with a direct download option may be coming to Pegasus Pulp at some point in the future. After all, that’s one of the big advantages of having a separate site for the publishing company. However, a webstore requires a bit more research into logistics such as shopping cart systems or plugins, legal requirements for e-commerce sites in Germany, tax issues, etc… At the moment, this is more of a long-term strategy.
The New York Times profiles a man called Philip Parker from Singapore who is listed as the author of between 200000 and 600000 “books” consisting mainly of computer-compiled information. Found via Passive Guy. At the moment, this guy mainly seems to focus on compilations of medical information scraped from various websites or projected sales data for some obscure product or other. He also does crossword puzzles and poetry and plans to do romance novels, because hey – it’s just bodyparts, isn’t it?
Maybe I’m being mean, but this guy disgusts me charging enormous prices for auto-compiled books of questionable quality. Along with private label rights e-books, spam e-books with low quality content culled from Wikipedia and content farms, it’s people like this who give indie publishing a bad name. Fiction writers are not affected at the moment, because private label rights and spam e-books don’t work as well with fiction, regardless of Philip Palmer’s plans for computer-generated romance novels. But legitimate indie non-fiction writers will have a hard time being noticed among all the spammers, particularly if they write about popular non-fiction subjects such as health, diet and personal finance.
Nancy Fulda presents five ways to support indie authors.
Chuck Wendig has a great post on social media for writers. Yes, I know that I should really join Twitter. Except that it’s so not my style of communication.