I recently received an email from Amazon asking me to get involved in the ongoing dispute with Hachette. Not because I am well known, or have any ‘clout’ in the industry, but because I am registered with Kindle Publishing.
I am not going to go into details of the dispute here; plenty of information is available online. It does pose the question though, why are the author’s rates the same for an eBook as a printed one, and why is the price so high from the publisher?
Think of the hours that you dedicate producing your masterpiece. Think of the hours your agent, editor and publisher devote to producing that in print. We can see why the writer only gets a small part of the pie. Now consider eBooks. You, your agent and your editor will have to devote the same hours. The publisher on the other hand only has to convert it into the correct format (my writing program can do that for me), and upload it to the server. No paper, no printing, no warehousing, no sale or return and potential sales of forever. So why does their share of the pie remain the same? OK it may not be as simple as that but you do get the idea.
The publishing industry needs to wake up. There is a new kid on the block. One that is slick and efficient; not rooted in the old ways. They need to adapt and embrace the changes as they occur and learn to share a little. They can still have a slice of the pie, a bigger pie with enough for everybody.
With direct access to publishing, writers have no need for agents or publishers (editors, we still love you and need you). We can do it ourselves. That doesn’t mean we have to, or even want to. I would rather devote the time to writing than publishing. Just give us and the readers a fair deal.