Wednesday, April 21, 2010

CHAPTER FOUR: Lions, tigers and... E-Books?

So you might be asking yourself about this E-book thing everyone including yours truly is talking about. What is a E-book and why are some scared and some excited?

Here is the good old down low or shall we say new down low. A E-book is a book that you can download to a Kindle or a Ipad or even to your PC (Mac) or phone and read without buying the paperback or hardback copy. These electronic books are cheaper because they do not need to be printed, housed, shipped, handled and returned. For a publisher this can be good or bad depending on how you look at it.

If you are one of the Big guys and sell books in the hard form you may look at this as a threat. You want to sell books and many people depend on you to do this. Editors want the work, printers, paper guys (The office... Sorry Michael) and the shipping people, big distributors and so on. This huge world has been created to publish and the E-book could tear it all down around their ears. If people start to buy the E-book instead of the paperback this chain goes from the listed above to this:

Cover art guy is okay, editor, layout guy and a new guy gets a job, the E-book converter. He takes a word doc or a pdf and converts it to a E format. Now we just cut out the bookstore, distributor, the paper and so on. We go direct to the reader and sell them a book.

See where this is going?

This kingdom is about to be overtaken by the deal, remember a little company called Apple? Remember how before you had to buy a CD and get all the 12 songs for 12.99? Remember when they wanted to sell one song for .99? Remember how people thought they were crazy? Who is crazy now?

The E-book is the single download for books that Apple is to ITunes. These books are already out selling hard copies and it will grow every year. I as a author and a publisher and a small one at that look at this and a big sloppy grin comes across my face. I say to myself in a creepy outlandish voice. "Aaron, I bet if you sell E-books for a good price say under 2 bucks you just might sell a lot of books."

Here are the facts and some ideas thrown in too.

Sell a lot of E-books make 1-3 dollars per book. No shipping, storage ect... Print a book make 1-2 dollars per book and pain anguish and the thing can be returned.

Reach more people make more fans.

Make more fans and sell more books.

Sell more books and make more money.


This is great for young authors because they can build a fan base faster then ever before and good for well established ones because they can make new fans and sell more books which leads the fans to their other books. I know that this is scary for the Big publishers and that your model of paying out advances and giving the author the leftovers and moving this poor book through all the hands is going to put some out of business, but this is coming and if you do don't figure out what you are there will come a day when the author does not need you. They will go direct to the reader and sell the book cutting you and all your pals out of the loop.

I for one want to be in the loop and be the one creating the loop and the new model for publishing and making the author and the publisher friends with one goal. Sell books and by doing this the author can write one book a year and have good sales and make a living. This is not so with the old broken model.

My Dad used to say, "If it is not broke, don't fix it." Well peeps... this is broke and we are going to fix it if we can. No, some authors will not like to see us coming because we will make their advance go away, and the publishers will hate us because we under cut them and yes we will change the way publishing is done in the future but in the end this is all about sales and getting a product to the people who want it at a great price.

Welcome to the future... go Apple and may you drive Amazon to lower fees and together we will create a .99 world!

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