IWSG: The Future of (indy) Publishing?
The first Wednesday of every month is the Insecure Writer's Support Group posting day, where writers can express their doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It's a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Check it out here and join if you want support with your writing.
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!
Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.
Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.
Remember, the question is optional!
July 1 question - There have been many industry changes in the last decade, so what are some changes you would like to see happen in the next decade?
The awesome co-hosts for the July 1 posting of the IWSG are Jenni Enzor, Beth Camp, Liesbet, Tyrean Martinson, and Sandra Cox!
I've been writing quite a bit lately about my efforts to get back to being a writer after the death of my husband. That project continues as slowly as the general project of getting my life back--no, not back, because there is no "back", but getting my life moving on to somewhere. Since I haven't much to add on that, today I'll try to answer the question of the month.
Since I am an author-publisher, I was moved to think about changes in self-publishing. I have been publishing for about 9 years, I've already seen some change. Some of the changes I've seen over the years are good (like better software to make ebooks that really work), some not so good, so before I think about the future, I'll comment on the past.
When I first began publishing, Createspace was an independent company, not a part of Amazon, and the merging of those two is the key to pretty much all that I'd like to see change. In a nutshell: we've been moving to a total monopoly and that is a very bad idea.
I think Amazon is trying to crush Smashwords (my favored ebook platform), but I'm happy that Smashwords is holding on, providing an essential way to publish to all the ebook sales platforms aside from Amazon. Of course, Amazon would like all those other platforms to go away. I would like to see the distinction between .mobi and .epub go away, so all books could be bought and read from any platform on any device.
If Amazon is to lose its stranglehold, their Kindle Select program must drop the exclusivity agreement. As a writer, I am doing my tiny part to try to force this by refusing to sign the agreement, and thus losing out on whatever tiny income I might make from the program. For me, it's worth it.
I would also very much like to have an independent Createspace or similar back (I've not yet really tried to find another paperback publishing platform that would offer full distribution at no cost). Again, it's about breaking the monopoly Amazon has and is trying to increase. Their plan is bad for readers and writers alike. Without competition, Amazon can pay authors what they want to (very little) and charge readers what they want. Lose-lose.
I'd love for all sorts of other things to happen, like some way to sort out and mark self-published books that meet a high standard of writing and formatting, and I'd love for someone to find a way to manage marketing that doesn't cost a fortune or require one to be an extrovert. But even more than that, I want to prevent the death-knell of an Amazon monopoly.
So I guess this month's question kind of triggered a rant :) Sorry-not-sorry. How about you? What would you like to see in the future for publishing?
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