Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wall Street Journal Article "Authors Feel Pinch in Age of E-Books"

The continuation of the series the Wall Street Journal is publishing on E-Books.

This is important information for us who are thinking of going this route AND those who wish to continue the traditional publishing route.

Credit: Matt Wright-Steel for the Wall Street Journal

Author John Pipkin worries about the e-book business model: 'I've had to
rethink my plans in terms of supporting my family full time as a writer.

Please click on link to read entire article:

So after reading the article, what do YOU think?

And to read more:
The Journal explores how digital technology is remaking the book industry.

The ABCs of E-Reading  - 08/25/2010 

'Vanity' Press Shakes Up Book Industry  -  06/03/2010

E-Books Rewrite Bookselling  -  05/21/2010

E-Book Pricing Put Into Turmoil  - 02/02/2010

WSJ Topics: E-Books



Donnell said...

L.A. this model has been a long time coming, and the article nailed it. It's hard for us who have aspired to sell our books and make a living do it.

It's like jobs being shipped overseas, or what must have gone through peoples heads in the industrial age.

Models change, industries evolve and nothing stays the same. If they do it's static.

Do I feel for people who can no longer make a living in this industry. Yes, and no.

When someone loses his 25-year-old job and is downsized, heck yeah, I feel for him, but it's economics, it's supply and demand and change is inevitable.

So my point, without sounding thoroughly callous, is that it's up to us to evolve. Up to us to read the writing on the wall and for us to invent new ways of storytelling and attracting readers. As Donald Maass said at National... the cream will continue to rise to the top.

I will continue my best to develop the best stories in me.

Thanks for the information.

Donnell said...

One more comment ; Do you remember years ago when people said to us. Don't sell out. Never, ever e-publish? Hold out for a traditional publisher? Me thinks we should have been watching that explosion with interest instead of getting stuck in tar pits. Have a great day, L.A.

Theresa said...

Wow. What a bleek outlook.

I can't believe writers work so hard at their craft and make so little money--when they get the opportunity to make money. Shoot, at this point I just want somebody, besides my critique buddies, to be able to enjoy my books without me having to foot the bill for printing it out for them.

Unless i"m misreading something, there's no harm in sitting on the sidelines waiting to see how things shake out. Whenever things shake out.

As my young-adult kids keep wailing, is nothing in life simple?????

Good thing writing is fun and I don't expect to feed the family from book sale earnings when I do sell.

Donnell said...

Exactly, T. You gotta love what you do to stay in this business, right? :) And I love this business, craziness and all!

Leslie Ann said...

I am so with you. I think, I hope, I desperately want to believe that people will still read. That the need for novels will remain.

How we read was bound to change. I for one am embracing this change wholeheartedly.

And, yes I remember the days when e-pubs were pariahs. I am stuck no longer in the tar pits. Watch me rise :)


Leslie Ann said...

Dearest T, fellow scriber.
I think it's so important for us to know the unvarnished truth ( if there is such a thing in reporting these days and I think these articles are really really good) so we can make decisions.

I don't think I can afford to sit on the sidelines....

This is a shake out and while it will be interesting to see what lands where, so I'm moving forward onward using the new technologies and will continue to write my best. Hopefully my work will be part of the cream that rises to the top.


Edie Ramer said...

I think that publishing has been a mess for a long time. The person who has gotten the worst end of it was often the author. Now that the model is changing, the chickens in charge are running around afraid that the sky is falling.

Not for me. I see a lot of blue sky out there, and I'm liking it.

Leslie Ann said...

I agree, I don't think the sky is falling, and like you, I see a lot of blue sky. Maybe even rainbows.

Thanks for your blog this week, this was a great segue to it.


Audra Harders said...

Great research into a dicey topic, Leslie! Sidelines vs playing field; traditional vs digital; money vs peanuts.

Isn't this the puzzle we spend our lives trying to figure out?

I remember well when e-publishers hit the scene, Donnell! Don't sell out! Wait for a real publisher to pick you up.

Back then, there was a lot of merit to the warnings. E-pubs did need to refine their skills; most vanity presses weren't doing their authors any favors by letting un-edited babble and fantasies hit the streets (and cyber waves).

But today, we're looking at a whole different animal. Technology has changed as has the quality of product produced. I think the marketing is still a hiccup with the promotion, but authors are VERY creative and word is getting out.

Great post, Les! Definitely the wave of the future!

ML Guida said...

I am currently writing a research paper on electronic publishing, and this article supports my research. The invention of electronic devices such as Amazon's Kindle, Apple's iPad and the other E-readers have propelled e-books to be more profitable which has impacted author roylaties, the profits of print publishers and the future of brick-and-mortar companies, including libraries. The next generation likes immediate gratification and new gadgets which not only changed the music industry but now the publishing industry. As authors, whether published or unpublished, the change is here, and we need to find ways to embrace the new changes. I think authors will be able to make a living in this industry, but it will be different than it is currently.

Donnell said...

Fascinating topic, LA. And to ML Guida. I would be very interested in talking to you. Perhaps you will share some of the information you learn with us in the future.

L.A. I'm delighted you've made a decision as to your future. I will be supporting you with a cyber high five all the way.

Leslie Ann said...

Hi ML,

Interesting about the research! As Donnell suggested, would you mind sharing it with us via Five Scribes?

And to all who have sent recovery wishes...I am doing well, the surgery went well. Having a joint removed from a toe is very painful and the pain meds make me crazy. Thanks from the bottom of my heart for such great friends.