Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Should I bother with the traditional route?

With an incredible 164% increase in ebook, and a depressing 34% decrease in yer-actual paper and cardboard book sales, should I bother any longer trying to get my book accepted in the traditional way?      We've all heard about John Locke and his million-plus ebook sales and now a new contract with a major
publishing house - and good luck to him. But I'm struggling to find any more similar sales on the ebook list.
For every John Locke there are probably a hundred thousand who will never see their books printed on paper. Of those a few thousand will self publish via the various electronic routes we're all familiar with.
  But of thouse thousands, how may are going to be any good? Will any writer who desperately wants, either simply to see his work in print, or to make a fortune and buy a Porsche, say to him(her)self...this isn't really very good but I'll go for it anyway. The problem is that all these authors are flooding the market, making it even harder for the average reader or traditional publishers to see the wood for the trees, as it were.
  So I'm going to try for a publisher. I'm going to keep trying for a publisher until there are no more publishers left to try.
  I know there have been a few exeptions where publhers have turned down a book, or series that has gone on to sell millions of copies. But they are rare in the extreme. My ex-girlfriend's brother-in-law used to play with a rock group but left because nothing was happening. Three weeks later they acheived a contract and became one of the biggest rock groups in the world. In fact that story is true, but what are the chances, really?
   For my own vanity I need to know.
   It's not enough that I think my books will be good when I finally finish them. I want somoeone who does this for a living to agree with me.
  But you might never get published, you might say.
  Well, as much as I want to publish my books, I'm not sure that I care about that as much as the reassurance of a professional that my writing is good.
  And if I discover, or finally realise that my writing isn't very good, I'll continue to write until my fingers whither and rot just for the fun of it - but at least I'll know.

  One final thing: have you noticed how the acceleration or decceleration of ebook versus paper book sales seems to be dependent on the personal interests of the organisation quoting the figures?


  1. I think you should take the route where you feel most comfortable. One of my friends was excited to get an agent. Two years later, the agent still hadn't done anything. You are right about e-books. I am concerned about the amount of low quality, badly written e-books.