Friday, February 5, 2016

Article About Meredith Wild Underscores Realities of Contemporary Publishing World

Alesandra Alter’s article, “Meredith Wild, a Self-Publisher Making an Imprint,” appeared in The New York Times last Saturday, 30 January.  Above and beyond the wild successes achieved by Ms. Wild, the piece presented some updates about the state of publishing today.  Here is one of the highlights:

<< As independent authors grab a bigger slice of the e-book market, digital sales by traditional publishers fell by 11 percent in the first nine months of 2015, according to data gathered from more than 1,200 publishers by the Association of American Publishers.

Last year, a third of the 100 best-selling Kindle books were self-published titles on average each week, an Amazon representative said. Some analysts attribute the dip in publishers’ e-book revenue in part to the glut of cheap self-published books, which often sell for as little as $1. >>

A number of Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) products actually sell for 99 cents, a price that seems most attractive to “impulse buyers.”  Admittedly, many of these “bargain basement” products are of poor quality, yet at the same time a number are quite good.  I should certainly like to think some of the titles on my author’s page deserve that description.

Of course, most authors garner little more than the satisfaction of seeing their books “out there.”  It is easy enough to publish on Kindle, yet very few titles actually sell.  Indeed, one must acquire unique skills to market and promote digital titles successfully (a trick I certainly haven’t learned). 

The bigger issue, however, is that the New York literary mafia remains a closed door to most writers.  Without the necessary contacts and/or “credibility” – to say nothing of the author’s “platform” (a term loosely used to encompass websites, blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter accounts) – most writers will never get any consideration, while a number of mediocrities are awarded huge contracts.