But I think his point is that if you're a proven moneymaker, you should be treated accordingly.
And I believe that is one is
a proven moneymaker, publishers want to keep you happy, productive, and with them versus some other publisher. That's just good business. But they aren't going to be as enthusiastic if the author starts going downhill.
Yes, self-publishers can release a book within days. Most of those books look like it as well.
Largely out of disregard for the reader, but I've seen flawless books as well so it's not an issue of the typesetting technology. The little guys use the same software as the big guys, and I can vouch that a properly edited manuscript takes less than a week to convert to book form. Gone are the day where authors turned in handwritten journals and the printers had to set the type by hand.
It has nothing to do with typesetting. It's that "properly edited manuscript" - and a commercially viable cover, and a properly written blurb for catalogs, and all the other things that publishers do to give that book every chance of selling well. And yes, commercial publishers are working on more than just one book. But commercial publishers didn't get where they are by producing schlock.
4. Lower e-book prices.
Why? So self-publishers can compete easier? It still costs the publishers the same amount to prepare an ebook as it does a print book. The additional costs for print is miniscule. And that lower cost for self-published ebooks is already starting to lose its advantage, if it ever really was one.
Because readers are offended by $15 ebooks. They don't care about the publisher's problems, ebooks have less perceived value than print book. Consumers take this out on the authors, who have no control over the price of their books.
If publishers want to keep their advantage, then don't offer the ebook version at all until the mass market paperback comes available.
I don't think readers are offended by $15 ebooks, actually. I do think readers are beginning to see that those 99 cent books are typically worth exactly that. And as I said, the marketing ploy of 99 cent ebooks is already starting to fail, mainly because everybody and their uncle is using it.
6. Start marketing effectively. Ads and catalogue copy aren’t enough. Neither is your imprint’s Twitter feed.
This is almost laughable. How are self-publishers more effective marketers? How many can get their books onto shelves? How many can easily get legitimate reviewers to even look at them? Commercial publishers are able to get books noticed in many more places than SP blogs - and places that generate many more sales.
True, but I think he's writing that as a disgruntalled midlister.
Disgruntled is putting it mildly.
Konrath is one of those pie-in-the-sky I-have-an-axe-to-grind self-publishing gurus who have a great reputation among other self-publishers. Had he not already been commercially published, I wonder how he'd be doing now? Like I said, I saw the name and knew exactly what his response would be.
And he's signed with a publisher again. I think you're going to be seeing a lot of this yoyo-ing between publishing and selfpublishing as midlisters capitalize on their followings while the big six snap up the one or two authors who make it big with selfpublishing.
I think we'll see more authors self-publishing their older books whose rights have reverted. I don't know if they'll want (or be allowed) to self-publish new books while under contract with a commercial publisher, but it's certainly possible.
Overall though, I think the whole "commercial publishing is dying" is vastly overblown. Not only because self-publishers are not as successful as some would claim, but because there's a whole pack of writers out there who do not want
to be publishers. They may not be 100% happy with their publishers, but still prefer to let the professionals do their thing while they spend their time creating books.