From an article in the Guardian. The final quote continues a frequent publishers’ and agents’ meme of the author as a precocious child who must be sheltered from the real world.
Self-publishing has traditionally been a surefire route to obscurity and dismal sales. Now a British thriller writer who sells his novels as ebooks for as little as 70p is proving the naysayers wrong.
Not only does Stephen Leather, Britain’s leading “independent” writer, estimate he has occupied the number one spot on Amazon.co.uk’s Kindle ebook bestseller lists for “90% of the last three months”, he is also selling “somewhere in the region” of 2,000 ebooks a day – and making big profits in the process.
Leather, who celebrated his seventh consecutive week at the top of the Amazon chart with his novella The Basement, about a serial killer in New York, also occupies fourth place with Hard Landing, another thriller, and 11th place with Once Bitten, a vampire novel.
He is one of many authors increasingly turning to ebooks as an alternative way to the top. Capitalising on the popularity of e-readers such as the Kindle, a new generation of writers is bypassing agents and publishers and using the flexible pricing model of ebooks to offer their work directly to the public at rock-bottom prices. Some, like Leather, are achieving huge sales, which, not surprisingly, is striking fear into publishers.
. . . .
Faced with this deluge of ultra-cheap ebooks, there have been apocalyptic murmurings about the end of publishing, but Toby Mundy, managing director of Atlantic Books, remains cautiously upbeat. “A new ecosystem is emerging where it will certainly suit lots of authors to publish themselves, but it won’t suit all or indeed most of them,” he says. He points out that for many authors it would “be too stressful to become marketers and distribution experts and copywriters as well as writing the actual books”.
Link to the rest at The Guardian