The New World of Book Publishing

Right up front – I believe that the way of the book publishers, literary agents, editors and brick and mortar book stores are heading the way of the dinosaur.Here’s why: First, there is a high risk factor involved with paying an author to publish a book. The cost could be astronomical to have the manuscript read, then edited, then pawed over by publishers and their bean counters. Then, the edited manuscript has to go to print. Color illustrations can’t really be a part of the book because they cost far too much money to process.So, publishers choose authors who are already published. Does this make sense? If an author of a best-seller is unknown, how can his or her best-seller ever see the light of day? If that “best-seller” does make it into the premier placement at the front of the brick and mortar book store, it may have a shelf life of only two or three weeks before it is tossed into the back of the store, and ultimately it ends up on the discount table at Joes’ Buck-a Book Emporium.Then, there’s the issue of returns. Publishers have agreements with book sellers whereby they get their money back for “loser books” that were placed incorrectly in stores, or didn’t sell briskly enough.It may take three years before a book title and subsequent content – beyond that of the 40-page Submission Package, is reaches the brick and mortar.I need only to remind you that Borders – the number two book store chain, has contemplated bankruptcy. The aforementioned reasons are partly to blame for the demise of many bookstores to date – including the thousands of “mom ‘n pop’ stands that used to dot America or any other city of town across this planet.Therefore, my conclusion is that the future of book sales will be in the online e-book format. How it might work is that authors (rookies or published) will create their book. They will initiate and control the title of the book. They will design their own covers. They will edit their books using any number of excellent spelling and grammar software programs now available. They will format the book (usually in safe-mode, locked.pdf format), and they will upload the book(s) into an online book store. The book store could be their own – complete with their very own system of collecting money from credit cards (or using existing PayPal technology). Their books can also be uploaded to Google Books, or Amazon, or to any number of online book stores that will be coming to the Internet – especially now that the number two chain has sent the signal that brick and mortars are on the way to extinction.With the advent of the Internet, and “Kindle” or “nook”, or Apple’s I-pod, or any laptop computer, any book can now be read….without ever being printed.The publishers of tomorrow will make out much better because:Authors will prove themselves by the number of books they sell. If a book takes off into the stratosphere due to any number of things that can propel it, the new publisher of tomorrow can be there to generate the contract for that book. At that point, the publisher knows that this book can generate a ton of cash. This is what was missing before. There was always a risk. Now, with the advent of the online e-book, and tracking capabilities for sales, there is minimal risk.An author – rookie or not, can become famous by showing up on YouTube and garnering millions of hits. An author can do what Justin Beeber did….hit the YouTube circuit, go “viral”, and have millions of hits. Today, Justin Beeber is doing quite well for a “kid”….novice…newbie.Authors can become famous by appearing on TV reality shows, or on the Orpah Winfrey show if they attract a certain audience. Authors can, for example, hit the lottery. One such lottery winner hit the lottery over five times…so he decided to write a book about how he won so many times. The book sells globally!The old-fashioned way of clawing your way to the top just by marketing techniques – using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Ezine, or Faithwriter’ – and a host of other article writing sites can get an author noticed. Faithwriter’ was the vehicle that Shellye Horowitz “lucked out” on. Here’s the blurb form the website concerning Ms. Horowitz: – “One of my articles posted on your site “Calming the Storms of My Heart” has been accepted for publication in the God’s Way Series – a writing opportunity that I learned about through your site….I am so very thankful. ” – Shellye HorowitzThe rookie authors are basically on their own, but the playing field for all is level at this point. Anyone can write a book and take it all the way to the online book store – in less than a week after it is written. That’s about two years, nine months and 24 days quicker than going the publisher/literary agent/editor route!Other reasons why online e-books will dominate the publishing world of tomorrow includes these very valuable attributes:1. The online e-book can be edited on the fly.This makes the e-book technically superior to the printed version where typos or other blunders are found…to late to correct them. It also makes the book current because the author can edit his or her book at will. I have edited my books ongoing, and have even changed the front cover a couple of times. All it took was to edit and upload it again.2. Color Illustrations can be used.There is no extra cost associated with adding all the color illustrations that the author wishes to incorporate into his book. I have added color illustrations to every book that I have made into an online e-book. My paperback on Amazon is 157 pages, sells for $14.95, and has no color illustrations. The newer version – the e-book, has 257 pages and all kinds of color illustrations…no extra cost to this author, nor to the non-existent printer…and the public gets a better quality book – and that brings me to the best reason why online e-books will rule.3. CostThe cost of an online e-book is far less than a paperback or hardcover book would cost in a brick ‘n mortar store because it costs nothing to take the book from concept to the online book store shelf! My e-books are all priced at just $9.95. If my Diary of A Dieter book was a paperback, it would garner $14.95, and $22.00 if it was in hardcover. For $9.95, the reader gets a tremendous deal because they get the same book- that they can download to their laptop or other “reader device”, and they get the added benefit of full color illustrations! How can this be beaten by a brick and mortar book store?4. ProfitsThe profit from my e-books on Amazon is $0.73. Yep – seventy-three pennies! Oh sure, it sells for $14.95, and people are still buying it for that amount. From that, Amazon sends a gross check for $6.73. Out of that, I have to deduct the $4.00 it cost to have the book printed, and finally – I have to deduct the $2.00 that it cost me to ship it to Amazon in Kentucky or wherever else they direct me to mail it. Net $0.73.By the same token, it cost me nothing to print an online e-book, nothing to ship it, nothing to download it to a reader’s e-mail in-box, so of the $9.95 that PayPal collects for me, I net $9./36 after they take their $0.59 to do the transaction, collect the money from the buyer’s credit card, process it, and deposit my $9.36 directly into my bank account set aside for that purpose.How many editors did I need? Zero. How many publishers? Zero. How much did I have to pay a bookstore to showcase my book? Zero.Publishers, editors and literary agents will have to adapt to this new way of marketing books. Publisher should, in my opinion, lose their cavalier attitude about rejecting authors. I understand that the primary reason they reject authors out-of-hand is solely financial. They can’t take the monetary risk. Now, they will have access to all book sites…like Google Books, or Amazon (and maybe Borders if they are allowed to continue their online book marketing), and determine – from sales recorded there, which authors they may wish to sign a contract with for the book rights. Because these publishers and literary agents will have access to the online book store’s management (no doubt), and can generate far more potential book sales than the author, deals will be struck.Now – about the way authors now have to go from book store to book store to promote their books. Let’s talk about how that might shake out in the world of book sales of the future.Rather than going from book store to book store (which costs money and time), the author could be featured in a video setting on the primary book seller’s sites – like Amazon, etc. Next to the book title, there could be a small TV screen icon. Readers would love to be able to see what their author looks like, and the author can have almost a personal “chat” with his reader at that level. I do it now on my own personal book store website.Other benefits of marketing can be that just the book isn’t the only thing that could be sold. Autographed pictures, or autographed book covers could be sold. Tee-shirts could be sold. Contests could be arranged to where the author of a best-seller (online e-book) can meet with several of the contest winners who bought her book -at a backstage event or dinner – or awards show. Not only would the hype of an awards show for authors be prudent – and profitable, but more books would be sold as the offshoot of that hyped event. I liken that scenario to a new movie coming out on re-release on video.I believe that my concept of tomorrow’s book stores and events will become reality in the very near future. With technology today, the Internet is fast becoming tomorrow’s everything. It’s a “giant brain” containing information on how to do anything. It’s a shopping center where I now buy most of my stuff – from flash drives for my computer (ranging from $3.95 5o $117.00 for the same thing), to laptops shipped to my home…to books.In fact, in my opinion, computers will lead to another problem-solver, and that will be online food shopping. The local Stop and Shop supermarket might end up having a warehouse somewhere that services five towns. From there, they could have virtual shelves where all the food is stored…much like it is now where I shop. I can load my virtual food list into my virtual wagon and have it delivered to me brick and mortar house the same day or next – and probably save money.The down side is that employees would be needed for the online store, but not for the brick and mortar stores so much. This is why America should be competing for these types of services. Of course, jobs could be had my the hundreds of thousands if our politicians would finally get on the American public’s side and get going on producing natural gas, drilling for oil safely, engineering clean coal technology, having automobiles that run on natural gas. We could become energy self-sufficient. That alone would drive the price of fossil fuels down again.Schools, colleges – trade schools could all hire teachers to teach – online. Same jobs – different venue. Teachers would certainly be safer. Kids would not have to worry about guns or drugs at virtual schools. It’s all coming anyway, only we ought to be the first to recognize it….and capitalize on it.Nuff said.