By Mark W. Danielson
Depending upon your frame of reference, the word “revolution” may spark images of riots, banners, blood, and death, or perhaps spin the Beatle’s tune in your head. But for writers, the e-publishing revolution is as significant as Gutenberg inventing the printing press.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be passing on what I learned at the 2011 San Francisco Writer’s Conference. Of course, there is no way I can sum up everything, but I will attempt to share its key points. First and foremost, I must say this is a very professionally run conference, and I encourage anyone able to dedicate the time and money to consider attending this event in the future.
E-readers have increased exponentially in the past three years. While the iPad, Kindle, and Nook lead the pack, more readers are on the way. E-book sales increased 190% last year while bound book sales decreased 5%. The repeated message from Writer’s Conference speakers is e-publishing has empowered authors like never before. The up side of e-publishing is authors receive a much higher royalty. The down side is there is no quality control filter that literary agents normally provide. While e-publishers such as Smashwords.com will gladly publish your work, they publish whatever is sent to them, good or bad. And while this makes it enticing to e-publish, authors must realize they will be judged personally as much as they will on their work. So, before sending your manuscript to a literary agent, self-publishing, or e-publishing, make sure you hire a reputable editor to ensure it's as good as it can be.
It’s both interesting and encouraging that 80% of the e-books sold are fiction. That’s great news for fiction writers because it shows that people are still reading for entertainment and escape. My two out of print books will be e-published this year. I’m proud to say that Danger Within and The Innocent Never Knew are as pertinent now as when they were written.
It is up to every author to produce quality work. Without quality, there is no credibility or repeat sale. The e-revolution may be here, but if you’re going to wave your author’s banner, you’d better have something worth reading.