The 'Wild West' World of Self Publishing

Friday, April 22, 2011

Self-published ebooks are continuing to shake up the publishing world.

I first ventured into the world of ebooks after getting a Kindle for my birthday last November.

Although I did buy some ebooks in the $6.99 to $8.99 range, I soon realized I could still purchase my favorite authors' new paperback releases at Target or other discount stores for a 25 percent discount. I'm still buying from the big publishers, where I can be assured of a certain quality and high standard, but I go where I can find the best price - whether it's digital or paper.

However, when it comes to my Kindle, I've quickly fallen into a pattern of giving less expensive ebooks a second (and third) look. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, I am not alone.

Reporter Jeffrey Trachtenberg reports that a recent Amazon top 50 ebook best-seller list featured 15 books priced at $5 or less. One part-time thriller writer who sells his titles for 99 cents had seven spots on the best-seller list. The self e-published author, John Locke, he says he made $126,000 from his Amazon sales in March alone.

The country's six largest publishers set the retail prices of their ebooks. Amazon reports it sees a higher rate of growth on titles it can discount. I still look for ebook deals from the established authors and publishers. Honestly, I have never bought a 99-cent ebook but apparently there are plenty of readers out there who have.

It all goes to show it is still a crazy world of the unknown when it comes to ebooks and self-epublishing.

Or as literary agent Jane Dystel says in the article,  "This is a Wild West of a world."


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