The publishing industry is in turmoil at present and as was the case with digital music in recent years, no one really has an answer to these questions. Street front book stores are closing, e-book sales have over-taken real book sales and authors, literary agents, publishers and retailers are all worried. It is unthinkable that a book of say 100,000 words that has taken perhaps years to write, edit and prepare for publication could only be worth less than one dollar.
Independent author Derek Haines believes this may have to be the new reality. His view is that there will be three prices for e-books. Free, $0.99 and $2.99.
'If the traditional agency model of publishing collapses, it will be up to authors to become their own publishers. To gain a readership following, your books have to gain a foothold. The free book will be the marketing starting block from where you would then hope to sell new releases for $0.99. The higher price of $2.99 will only be achievable for popular and well established authors and titles.'
While it may seem like gloom and doom, he does point out that e-books offer more promotional and advertising possibilities. 'When I began publishing my books in electronic format, I simply published the book. But now every e-book I publish contains hyperlinks to my other books, websites and blogs. In other words, every e-book is now cross-promoting.'
While no one knows what the financial future holds for book publishing, it is clearly evident that electronic reading is here to stay, and that it will be the future for writers and publishers. But at what cost?
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Derek Haines is an author of fiction, historical fiction, essays and poetry. Born in Australia, but now living in Switzerland, his stories cross a wide geographical range but often draw from his life and experiences in the two countries he calls home.