Friday, 10 January 2014

The Empire Strikes Back

It's perhaps taken longer than expected but the big publishers seem to be getting their acts together when it comes to fighting back against the self-publishers - especially when it comes to ebooks.

There's plenty of stuff on other people's blogs about marketing campaigns and sales figures and stuff like that.  Whilst it does make for interesting reading it's all a bit distant, a bit removed from every day life.  What does it all mean to the humble indie, tapping away on his or her laptop, trying to make it big?

As a writer I need to stand strong against the onslaught of the big five, or six, or however many houses make up the publishing elite.  I need to learn to shout louder and longer so that my voice will still be heard along the ethereal corridors of Amazon and Smashwords and traffic will still flood (a steady trickle would be nice) to my website to sample my wares.

The problem is, as a reader I've fallen into the trap and shot my writer-self in the foot (apologies for the mixed metaphors there).

When James Herbert's novel Ash was published a large collection of his back catalogue was made available for Kindle for only 20p.  I resisted the temptation and was rightly proud of myself.  When James sadly died last year there was a posthumous sale of the same earlier works for 49p.  I bought half a dozen of them.

In the run up to Christmas I was looking on Amazon for a boxed set of the Song of Fire and Ice Novels (Game of Thrones etc) for my son.  Whilst nosing around I found the entire collection for Kindle priced at 99p per book.  I bought the lot for less than £7 (the hard copy boxed set was over £30 and no, he didn't get the paperbacks).

It's always going to be hard compete as an indie when top titles are made available for those kind of prices.  Then again, it's always been hard to compete.  At least now though, indies are able to get their books onto the market place.  We're just going to have to work harder to muscle our way to the front.

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