A great benefit to membership in Sisters In Crime is their newsletter. Within it are links to newsworthy blogs, columns, and other great sources. Usually, the selected articles are of great interest to writers, perhaps less so to indie publishers.
Not this time. Several pieces in the April newsletter discussed self-publishing. In one particular article, Daniel Berkowitz interviews author Hugh Howey on the role of self-publishing in today’s book publishing landscape.
I enjoyed Howey’s responses. He made sense to me, possibly because his ideas align closely to my own.(see But What About Us Readers?)
Below are 10 of his most insightful thoughts.
1. Major publishers will eventually need to compete with Amazon’s 70 percent earnings––somehow, some way.
2. The key advantage to self-publishing is price control.
3. Self-publishing is faster, pays better, offers more creative opportunities, allows experimentation with price and other features.
4. Amazon is the best self-publishing platform for new authors. Debuting authors should go exclusive with Amazon until they have gained enough traction to branch out.
5. Amazon’s KU exclusivity is for 90 days at a time, whereas traditional publishers exclusivity is for life – plus another 70 of your heirs’ lives.
6. Amazon has had a positive effect on indie bookstores, which are currently making a comeback.
7. Authors need lots of titles out there to build momentum, hone their craft and find a voice.
8. Do not spend writing time marketing. Most marketing tactics don’t work.
9. Interact with your readers, be yourself on social media. Don’t sell. That’s what sells.
10. The world will never go back to the days when publishers owned a monopoly on readers’ attention.