(Originally posted October 2010 but deserves repeating)
. Hang in there, independent authors, because—God love you—you’re the future of bookselling!
Things are finally changing for self-published authors. Well, maybe not everywhere. Not yet. Certain book stores and publishing houses still look down their noses at us, and maybe some of our snooty friends are still arching a brow and sneering, ”So…you’re SELF-published?”
Well, don’t fault them for it. There will always be those who fail to spot trends. IBM squandered the chance to buy Microsoft for peanuts. Microsoft blew the chance to buy Apple. And Decca Records turned down the Beatles, going so far as to say The Beatles have no future in show business. Instead, they signed The Tremeloes, who auditioned the same day. (Who?)
But I digress.
It only takes two words to explain why self-published authors are the wave of the future: Electronic Books.
In July, Amazon.com reported eBooks were outselling hardcovers nearly two to one! And why not? They’re cheaper, they’re environmentally friendly, they don’t require a trip to the bookstore, you can download them in seconds, free of postage, and you can carry hundreds of them onto an airplane without adding an ounce of weight!
Plain and simple, there has never been a better time in history for the self-published author to compete against the big boys and girls. But before I show you how, let me tell you a quick story:
In March, 1963, I was 12 years old, living in Shreveport, Louisiana. Early one Saturday morning, I rode a bus downtown and visited Stan’s Record Shop on Texas Street, and bought a brand new record called Walk Like A Man, by the Four Seasons. Ever hear of it? I paid ONE DOLLAR for that record, and it was exactly…two minutes and seventeen seconds long. NOW, 47 YEARS LATER, you can download my entire book, Saving Rachel, on your Kindle or PC or iPad…for only 99 cents!
Now tell me truly: how can you POSSIBLY beat a deal like that?
Owners of eBook readers are as dedicated a group of readers as can be found anywhere in the world. After having spent hundreds of dollars to acquire their Kindle or Nook or iPad, they’re eager to load up their electronic libraries with great books. And never before in history have a major group of book buyers been more willing to take a chance on books written by self-published authors. They can buy an established author’s eBook for $10, or they can buy TEN books by ten different independent authors for the same price!
I’ve received wonderful comments from these ebook buyers. Like how they enjoy “discovering” new talent. In the old days they wouldn’t have plunked down $25 for a hardcover or $15 for a paperback written by a self-published author. Now they have a reason to sample our wares, because 99 cents is an afterthought! This group of readers understands something most publishing houses and bookstores have forgotten:
Every best-selling author in the world was at one time—a non-published author!
What I’m saying, Kindle and iPad book buyers will give you a chance! Your books have to be good, of course, because content is king. But if you’ve got a good product, price is a HUGE factor, and gets your toe in the door.
Bargains are everywhere! Right now, Saving Rachel isn’t even a blip on the publishing houses’ radar. But guess what: it WILL be, because sales have started growing like crazy! And there’s more: my new books, Now & Then and Wish List are also available as eBooks! Scroll up a bit and look at the screen to the right of this page and click on the pictures in the VIDEO BAR to watch my book trailers. If you see something that cranks your tractor, you can buy it for 99 cents by clicking on theLINKS to BOOKS section.
Wanna know something else? It’s not just me! I know LOTS of authors who are offering similar bargains, like Winslow Eliot’s Heaven Falls, and Steve Jackson’s Death of a Cure. Claude Bouchard and Luke Romyn and a host of other well-known Twitter authors have used eBooks to build up a following, and God bless them for doing so! Because as a Kindle, Nook and iPad owner, I also enjoy having this incredible opportunity to discover new talent and acquire excellent books at bargain-basement prices!
John Locke is the author of the international best-selling Donovan Creed series of novels, including Saving Rachel, Wish List, Lethal People, Lethal Experiment, Now & Then, and A Girl Like You, and also the #1 Western adventure, Follow the Stone. He lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where he is working on his next Donovan Creed novel, Vegas Moon.