Friday, January 14, 2011

Do it NOW!

Peter here. On Type M we have talked long and often about writers going it on their own, by-passing the publishing filter to self-publish electronically and reap the majority of the profit from their labours.

No doubt about it. There is an opportunity to be exploited. Money to be made. But it seems to me that the window of opportunity will not be open for too long. Within no time this new medium, allowing writers to display their wares and sell directly to their readers, is going to get clogged up and bogged down by every wanabee writer who wants to see himself/herself in print. It's cheap and easy to do. And in the end readers will be confronted with a bewildering choice, and little or no way of determining what is worth buying - an enormous gamble, since 95 percent of available books will be execrable.

So those writers with an established track record, who want to take advantage of the electronic opportunity, had better move quickly and stake their claim now.

Read one writer's account of how she bravely exploited this opportunity and turned a gamble into a money-making success, selling thousands of books to new readers. L. J. Sellers wrote the following account in a contribution to Joe Konrath's blog this month:

http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2011/01/guest-post-by-lj-sellers.html

The downside of it all, of course, is that the bricks and mortar booksellers who have been peddling our wares for so long are biting the dust in increasing numbers. The latest casualty is The Mystery Bookstore in Westwood, Los Angeles. They announced this week that they are having to close their doors. As a frequent visitor during book tours in recent years, I was particularly sad to hear the news. They were good people, and knew their books.

R.I.P.

And as an even sadder post script, I have to mention the passing of my old editor at St. Martin's Press, Ruth Cavin. And when I say old, I mean OLD. Ruth was 92 and had been working right up almost until the end. She didn't discover her talents as an editor until she was in her sixties, but certainly made up for lost time and put in another lifetime's work into her new career. She was an original, the doyenne of crime editors, and she will be sorely missed.

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