Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Where will it end?

More and more people are jumping on the self-publishing bandwagon and flooding the market with ebooks. Smashwords boasts 2,864,711,958 words published as of the writing of this blog.  Hundreds of ebooks are out there on how to write and publish an ebook! John Locke, Amanda Hocking and JA Konrath have become the industry icons that say I did and so can you.

But not all will survive. To promote an ebook takes a remarkable amount of marketing skill and savvy. And yes marketing companies are out there to help you and take your money with promises of success beyond your wildest dreams. But at some point the great reality will settle in that not everyone will or can succeed.

Years ago I visited the Salvador Dali Museum and was in awe of his talent. Outside the museum, local artists hocked their own paintings that had been done his style. I came to a conclusion. When someone looks at a Dali painting and says “I can paint stuff like that,” I realize they can’t.

Will we one day come to a realization that the same is true for many self-published writers?


  1. I think it's only a matter of time before the indy movement gets locked down. It will start with quality control. It will start out little (think formatting) expand to things like grammar and in the end the "self publishing" will be simply another publisher that authors are submitting their books to and hoping to be "approved" - only instead of the contracts and advances that "traditional" publishers now offer, all you'll win is the right to slot your book into their line up. Eventually you may even need agents to get there. That's just my forecast, of course, but it fits the patterns of our society. We start with something every free and very opened that anyone can do and then we make rule after rule after rule until the group who "can" is select and tiny. Eventually, people get tired of this and there is a new explosion of "we all can!" but it cycles back to the selective group again. My goal is to enjoy it while it's here, and when it ends maybe I'll go work on that doll house I've had half finished for years ;)

  2. Interesting article Ron. Thank you. You mention the artists copying, the same goes for writing. Insofar as I think artists and writers need to develop their own style/and voice. I would dislike anyone saying my writing was in the style of someone else. We are all individuals and need to develop and grow.