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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Publishing in the Age of the Ebook

Once upon a time writers were at the complete mercy of the publishers. You had only a finite number of editors who would consider your work and then you went to the small obscure presses and then you were simply finished. Self publishing was always this sort of last stop but it was expensive and work intensive. So then the book  you had spent years on, laid in bed at night and agonized over, gone into t bankruptcy destitution sometimes losing your home in the process, all that is suddenly null and void with the fate of your book now destined to the large brown box of unpublished manuscripts. It was all horribly depressing.

This process still plays out for writers. The first pick of any author is the large commercial press that pays and gets your book out there to the public at large. We all want Chad Harbachs advance of six hundred thousand and some change for The Art of Fielding. But once this reality passes with the same odds of playing professional sports (200 out of thirty million every year who play organized sports) then you settle for any type of deal you can get. But alas, there are only so many spots and quite a few authors.

But the author now has a final port before oblivion. You bring out your book as an ebook and voila, you are published. True you are one of a million books and it is a tough slog to get people to buy your book. But consider the alternative of the moldy box in the basement of yesterdays dreams. As an author you have a responsibility to get your work out to the world. The second is to sell. At least writers now have a fighting chance.

Books by William Hazelgrove