Greetings, patient readers and friends. Yes, I’ve been neglecting ConsterNation while I work on writing an e-book. Thankfully, the end is in sight.
E-books might be the new blogging. Writers flocked to blogging when it became popular about six years ago, and now writers are flocking to e-books. I’m not suggesting that e-books will replace blogging. I’m sure that won’t happen. However, I think e-books have already affected the evolution of the blogosphere. At the height of the blogging craze, many of the most successful and popular blogs were blogs about blogging. Many gurus offered advice on blogging, and some even suggested that a lot of money could be made in blogging, if one followed their advice.
Something similar is happening now with blogs about e-book publishing. Many veteran authors and some newbies have established blogs offering analysis of the publishing revolution and suggestions on how writers might proceed. One of my favorite new blogs in this category is “Let’s Get Digital,” a WordPress.com blog by David Gaughran, who focuses on his own experiences as a writer and e-book publisher. A blog by a veteran author who’s made the transition from traditional publishing to e-books is “A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing,” by K.A. Konrath. (Mr. Konrath has the zeal of a convert who’s seen the light.) Although there is much talk about pricing and book-promotion strategies, most e-book gurus are warning that few if any writers are going to get rich quick through Indie publishing.
An even more significant trend for the long run, I think, is the explosion in blogs and Web sites listing and reviewing e-books. One of my favorites in this category is a new blog on WordPress.com called Bargain Books for your Nook. And thousands of previously existing blogs about books and writing have added e-books and Indie publishing to their coverage. I expect I’ll be calling your attention to many of the blogs reporting on and reviewing e-books during 2012.
I first noticed the incoming wave of Indie books and e-books early in 2011, and wrote a long post which is still a good introduction to the subject. I think it’s safe to say that at the beginning of 2012, a full-scale revolution in book publishing is well under way.
Amazon’s Kindle started it all — slowly — a few years ago, and Barnes & Nobel followed with their Nook. The SmashwordsWeb site was a pioneer in promoting e-book publishing, and it continues to be a major source of encouragement and empowerment for unpublished writers. Smashwords’ fabled “Meatgrinder” set the pace for simplicity in uploading e-books, and Smashwords’ commitment to free service and wide distribution to as many outlets as possible remains exemplary. Apple’s iPad was designed to be much more than an e-book reader, but Apple’s entry into the book sales business makes it one of the four big players for 2012, along with Kindle, Nook and Smashwords. You may have other major players to add to the list, but those are the big ones on my radar.
Amazon maintains dominance in the e-book marketplace, and Amazon’s announcement in the fall of 2012 of the Kindle Fire, the first color Kindle, was the event that transformed the smoldering e-book and Indie book movement into the raging prairie fire that New York’s traditional publishers have long feared. (Let the record show that Barnes & Noble was already out with a color version of the Nook.)
I suspect I’ll be writing a whole lot more about ebooks and publishing this year, and I’ll probably continue to comment on politics and the economy, as well. In fact, the present political and economic crisis affecting the U.S. and Europe is the subject of the novel I’m finishing now. It might be ready to upload it in February. You, patient reader, will be the first to know.
— John Hayden
- On Smashwords and Amazon (joleenenaylor.wordpress.com)
- Harry Freedman: Why I’m Not Worried by Ebook Piracy (huffingtonpost.co.uk)
- Smashwords Year in Review 2011 (smashwords.com)
- The writer who made millions by self-publishing online (guardian.co.uk)
- Self-Publishing Revolution: Man Makes $100,000 in Three Weeks Self-Publishing on Amazon’s Kindle (blogcritics.org)