As most of you, dear readers, know, I'm in the final stages of writing my very first manuscript ever. Of course, my next steps would traditionally include the following:
- drafting a query letter
- spending almost as much time editing my query letter as I did editing my novel
- investigating the genres, submission requirements, likes, dislikes, and bathroom rituals of every agent out there
- selecting a few agents to whom I will send my shiny new query
- biting my nails
- piling the rejections on my desk
- biting my nails
- finally landing an agent (hopefully!)
- revising to the agent's specifications
- ...and, well, you know the rest. I won't bore you.
And, here's another staggering statistic found in the Guardian: "Amazon now sells twice as many digital books as hardbacks in the US." It's looking like more and more people, both companies and independent authors, are moving towards e-publishing. Don't believe me? How about checking this article at Market Watch. I could give you a slew more, but I'm sure you all have access to google. And frankly, these days this type of article is not difficult to find.
Not only are authors like Ray Connelly (as featured in the Guardian article above) publishing their own books digitally, but some agents are taking advantage. One top agency caused a huge industry conflict by cutting a deal with Amazon (Kindle) for digitally publishing many of their authors' older works. Check out the npr interview here.
Scared? I am. When the market is flooded with e-publications by every aspiring author and their grandma, not to mention agents that want to bypass the publisher and publishers trying to remain afloat by going digital, how will my little novel ever get noticed?
That's a good question. But when you think about it, is it really that much more difficult than sending a 1 page query letter to an agent who receives 150 nearly identical letters a day, hoping to be noticed? I don't think so. And, with self publishing digitally, you risk nearly nothing (other than your pride, which gets risked in the traditional pathways anyway!). Not to mention, the rights to your story remain your own to do with it whatever you like.
I'm not saying I'm going to self-publish my book, but what I am saying is...it doesn't look like such a bad option. There may be more updates about this issue in the future if you guys are interested.
What do you think about self-publishing and the new wave of digital books?