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Another crazy week in self-publishing

So I read via Foner Books that Publisher’s Weekly wants to charge $149 for us self-published writers to get a read. Not a review, mind you, just a read. If we’re lucky we’ll get a review.

I’ve already ranted about how PW just doesn’t “get” us self-publishers. But now, sadly, PW wants to make a few quick bucks off of us as well. Through its actions, PW is  treating self-published writers as second class citizens.

Will Publisher’s Weekly charge Seth Godin $149 for his next book?

That’s right, Seth Godin is now joining the ranks of us indie writers.

I read via Mike Shatzkin that Seth Godin is giving up on publishers altogether. This is huge news for publishers because he’s the type of writer they covet — someone who cranks out books with regularity and cultivates a large audience of eager readers. This development has to make publishers more than a little nervous, and it should. Publishers can and do add massive value to an author’s work, but their perceived value has been slipping, and, to some extent, with good cause. As Mike noted, for years publishers have filtered out writers who didn’t have a “platform.” In other words, they only wanted to publish writers who already had built-in audiences. But any author who has built up an audience knows he or she can now publish directly to that audience, and this is where publishers are in trouble. While I understand why publishers want authors with platforms, the irony is that it is the publishers themselves who suddenly lack “platforms.”  I don’t think readers think “I’m in the mood for a new Knopf novel.”

Readers are loyal to authors, not imprints.

And with digital delivery, authors can connect with readers in an instant.

I read in the Wall Street Journal that 40% of owners of ereaders read a lot more than they did before owning an ereader. And Forrester Research estimates that by the end of September roughly 11 million Americans will own at lease one ereader. Not surprisingly, Amazon says the Kindle 3, now shipping, is its fastest-selling Kindle yet.

Now, this is very good news for us self-publishers. Most of my books are selling via Kindle.

J.A. Konrath, who has a number of books on both the Kindle and iPad, says that Kindle books are outselling iPad books by a ratio of 60:1. I’m seeing a ratio of 80:1. For me, the reason is simple: Amazon makes it easy to get discovered by readers. The iBookstore does not.

So that’s it for now. The latest news in another crazy week in self-publishing.

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