Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

Tag Archives: Self-Publishers

How Could #Bitcoin and #Publishing Be Alike…?


blockchain and publishing Fair warning:

Today’s post is probably only for geeks who live on the bleeding-edge…

Or, those striving for that lifestyle…

Plus, I don’t fully understand what I’m sharing

It starts with an article on Publishing PerspectivesBlockchain and Potential Implications for International Book Publishing

It continues with an article on the Alliance of Independent Authors site—Blockchain for Books

I’ll share excerpts from the articles; and, rather than urge all readers to go check out the full articles, perhaps I’m only urging the bravest amongst you

First, a definition (from the Alliance of Independent Authors article) of the key concept behind Bitcoin, Blockchain, which is what’s being touted as an amazing tool for publishing:

Blockchain is a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured.

Unlike HTML, blockchain allows one person to transfer a unique piece of digital property to another in a way that 1) is guaranteed safe and secure; 2) open, visible and agreed by all; and 3) cannot be subsequently modified.

Next, an excerpt from the Publishing Perspectives article that lists what the Alliance of Independent Authors feels are the qualities of Publishing that Blockchain will impact:

“Copyright, which ALLi suggests can be superceded by blockchain, making ‘ownership indisputable’

“Smart publishing contracts, that will use automation to ‘simultaneously represent ownership of an intellectual property and the conditions that come with that ownership’

“Smart author wallets, into which ‘booksellers and wholesalers’ as well as ‘Amazon and other digital platforms and trade publishers’ will make author payments, as will readers who will ‘make micropayments for a single article, small video, or podcast episode’

“Privacy controls, in which ALLi’s interest is in its members’ ability to ‘forward a book, directly from author to reader, without any middle man, freely or for Bitcoin exchange’

Anyone who has understood the previous excerpts should write their own article about Blockchain and Publishing…

btw

The Alliance of Independent Authors‘ article goes into more detail on those last four “benefits” of Blockchain…

And, I should mention that the Publishing Perspectives article is heavy on the benefits to traditional publishing; but, the Alliance of Independent Authors champions self-publishing…

A bit more from Publishing Perspectives:

“It’s easy to see the upside that blockchain technology could have on the publishing industry, and we believe it’s likely that some of this change is going to happen in the medium to long term.”

They then go on to point out potential obstacles to implementing Blockchain…

One last excerpt from Publishing Perspectives, who I believe are clearly a trusted source of information:

“While much of the current hype around blockchain is certainly unfounded, there’s definitely great potential in this model.”

So…

Any readers who’ve gotten this far in the post and feel they understand what Blockchain can do for publishing, do, please, chime in with a Comment :-)
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Still Hoping to Get a Book Published by the “Big 5”?


If you’re not sure what the title of this post means and you’re a writer, you just might be safe from a maelstrom of difficulties. Myths of Traditional Publishing

Regular readers of this blog know I lean toward self-publishing; and, to edge toward full transparency, I would only let a traditional publisher near my book if I could hire a lawyer to write the contract—a contract that most of those publishers would immediately laugh at and throw in the waste can…

So, Traditional publishers, the Big 5…

Different folks will define those terms differently…

But, one recognized aid is, The Big Five US Trade Book Publishers.

The first thing I must tell those who are not well-informed about traditional publishing is that you should run away from anyone who tells you, “You must get used to having your manuscript rejected.”; usually, supported by the wobbly evidence that so many of the great authors had to be rejected 8 or 25 or 132 times…

There may be certain reasons to get published by a traditional publisher; but, every day that passes shows another reason to go the self-published route. (for proof, scroll down the left side-bar to the Top Tags widget and click on “traditional publishing” and “self-publishing” to read many articles on each…)

So, I found an article link in one of my emails about a half-hour ago, and knew I had to immediately blog about it rather than just add it to my very long bookmark list of possible posts…

It’s on the HuffPost site, was written by Ken Lizotte, and is called, The 4 Great Myths of Book Publishing.

I’ll list the bullet points from the article; but, leave it to you to go there and read what Mr. Lizotte says; and, for those who want to dip a toe into the lake of 1,942 posts on this blog, I’ll link to a bit of what I’ve said about each of Mr. Lizotte’s bullet points

Here come the 4 Great Myths (by the way, Mr. Lizotte does have “remedies” after each Myth… {for those intent on Big 5 publishing…}):

Myth #1: My book publisher will aggressively promote my book to the widest possible readership

My article: #BookMarketing ~ Making Sense of #AuthorPromotion

Myth #2: A publisher will ensure my book gets on the shelves of all the nation’s bookstores

My article: Self-Published Books & Bookstores

Myth #3: My publisher will print my book’s text in exactly the way I conceive and arrange it

My article: The Publishing (And Editorial) History of Some Extremely Famous Fiction

Myth #4: My publisher will provide me with a sizable monetary advance, allowing me to take time off from my regular work so that I can focus exclusively on my book

My article: Another Good Reason to Avoid Traditional Publishing

I welcome Comments from writers who are still considering the chore of getting published by one of the Big 5

And, for those who can’t deal with what the Big 5 stand for but aren’t quite ready to jump into Self-Publishing, here’s an article on the Independent Book Publishers Association
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Lots of the News About #Publishing Is Dead Wrong


What?

The news not telling us the truth??

Well, that just can’t be true!

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I certainly hope you can detect my irony

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Nearly all the news (as far as I can tell) has an agenda, pulls a few punches, caters to money or influence or special interests

The BookWorld is no different.

However, there are, thank God, sources of news that can be trusted.

One of the most trustworthy folks in the BookWorld is Jane Friedman.

In fact, if you scroll down to the Top Tags widget in the left side-bar and click on her name, you’ll find 37 articles featuring her (including this one…).

So, she recently had an article titled, The Myth About Print Coming Back and Bookstores on the Rise.

As usual, I’ll give you a few excerpts and leave it to you to check out the full article

As far as news outlets and individuals touting the two issues in the title of her article, she states simply:

“Most of it is wishful thinking rather than an understanding of what’s actually happening out there.”

There are some very clear graphs in the full article and these bullet points:

1. The ebook sales decline in the United States is related to traditional publishing and possibly its high pricing.
2. Recent print sales gains can be accounted for by coloring books.
3. Market share is drifting away from the Big Five publishers to small presses and self-publishers.

Just a few more excerpts ( for the folks who never take links out of blog posts :-)

“Adult ebook sales have been relatively stable; the big decline is in children’s/YA ebook sales due to the lack of a big franchise hit in 2015. (I hope it gives you pause to learn that the absence of a Harry Potter book or a new YA series can directly affect how well the industry does in a given year.)”

“Nielsen reports that about 12 million coloring books were sold in 2015. Compare that to just 1 million in 2014.”

“Carry a big dose of skepticism, and look at possible underlying agendas, when you hear celebrations about print’s comeback. While I’m not at all proclaiming the death of print or traditional publishers, few media outlets have an understanding of the big picture.”

Also for the folks who never take links out of blog posts—if you really want to get trustworthy news about the BookWorld, you may want to try a 30-day Free Trial of this publication
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Clearing Our Heads About Amazon


First, even though I cover Reading, Writing, and Publishing, Amazon does not carry only books.

Amazon Hachette

Image Courtesy of mantis wong ~ http://www.freeimages.com/profile/mantiswong

That may be quite obvious but, in the raging battles over the company, there are many folk who, for various reasons, forget the obvious…

If you haven’t been up to speed on the Amazon-Hachette battle, the best I can do to catch you up is have you read my past post, Almost Against My Will ~ Yet Another Look At The Amazon–Hachette Dispute…

And, to catch you up on other important issues in the book and publishing world, check out these articles by Joe Konrath:

For the Authors Guild & Other Legacy Publishing Pundits

Death and the Self-Pubbed Writer

Konrath’s Advice to Publishers

I thought my post up there, with Almost Against My Will in the title, would be my last about Amazon, for awhile—the hoopla and grizzly name-calling is just too much…

But…

When Joe Konrath weighs-in, reason lights up the alleys of conflict, so, I’m sharing this article:

The great Amazon debate: A leading Amazon critic and a self-publishing rock star try to find common ground

This is a communication between Konrath and Rob Spillman, editor of Tin House magazine and editorial advisor of Tin House Books.

At the beginning of the piece, Spillman refers to Konrath as an author who “…has self-published 24 novels (three of them No. 1 Amazon sellers), hundreds of stories, and has sold over 3 million copies of his books.”

Then comes Rob’s letter to Joe, then Joe’s answer, then Rob’s attempt at rapprochement…

For those of you who don’t follow links and read what they point to, I’ll give you just one excerpt of what Joe says concerning his experience with the “Big” publishers and, then, his experience with Amazon:

“I was a Roman prisoner in the Coliseum, being feasted on by lions. Those lions were big publishers. After 20 years, a million written words, and nine rejected novels, I finally landed a book contract. And I worked my ass off and published eight novels with legacy publishers, dozens of short stories with respected magazines, and went above and beyond everything that was required of me, in order to succeed.

“And I got eaten. One-sided contracts, broken promises, lousy money. But it was the only game in town. If I wanted to make a living as a writer, I had no choice.

“Then Amazon invented the Kindle.

“I first self-pubbed in May of 2009. That first month I made $1,500, publishing books that New York rejected.”

Joe went on to earn hundreds of thousands of dollars from those “rejected” books…

So, if you’ve been confused about whether Amazon is an evil giant and Hachette is the aggrieved party, read that article…
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How Is Digital Self-Publishing Affecting Traditional Publishers?


The importance of relying on a few people at massive companies to judge whether a book should be published seems to be evaporating… 

Publishing

Image courtesy of Zsuzsanna Kilian ~ http://www.sxc.hu/profile/nkzs

Plus, self-publishing isn’t really new.

Many famous authors of the past self-published.

The difference (and, what’s causing concern for traditional publishers) is Freely-Available Digital Tools.

I’m going to share part of an article by Jack W Perry, owner of a consulting firm helping publishing transition to digital.

First, though, I’ll list a few of my past posts that could help you get up to speed on what’s been happening:

The Various Flavors of Publishing . . . (interesting comments on that one)

Will Traditional Publishers Survive? (two authoritative comments there)

Indie Authors Are Learning How To Act Like Publishers

So, are you familiar with a company called Harlequin—billed as “the world’s leading romance book publisher”?

Seems they’re in a bit of trouble and some “experts” feel what’s happening to them might happen to the other legacy publishers

There’s an article on Digital Book World called, Lessons Publishers Can Learn From Harlequin’s Annual Results, by Jack W Perry, where he says:

“Harlequin’s annual revenues have dropped by almost $100-million over the past five years.”

It’s true that Harlequin is a single-genre publisher but Perry thinks their annual report has warnings for other traditionals.

Here’s some of what Harlequin said:

“The proliferation of less expensive, and free, self-published works could negatively impact Harlequin’s revenues in the future.”

“The low cost of digitization has also led to a proliferation in the number of digital titles available and increased competition.”

“The significant growth of the digital book market in recent years has resulted in a contraction of the retail print market.”

“Online retailers have also entered into the book publishing business creating additional competition.”

“The decrease in North American revenues was the result of declines in the retail print and direct-to-consumer channels.”

There are some apologists for legacy publishing who are still crying foul about these changes

It’s like some kid screaming that the lemonade stand next to his—the one with hand-squeezed lemons (not instant powder) and free refills—is cutting into his business

Of course it is!

Wise up, kid, and find your own competitive advantage.

Am I being callous?

Is there more to it?

Are self-published e-books automatically inferior?

What are your thoughts and feelings?
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