The publisher of Sourcebooks, Dominique Raccah, recently wrote a piece on digital publishing and what eBooks mean for publishers.
You need to read it.
No, really. You need to read it. Go. I’ll be here when you get back.
Yeah, good, no? Dominique says what I think many of us in the industry want to say about publishing and its utility, especially in an era when barriers to entry in the publishing field are dropping like flies. Yes, you can upload your file straight to Amazon or Smashwords and let the chips fall where they may – tons of people do – but there’s a value added through traditional publishing still. That first big infographic really makes it clear – the publisher polishes your work, makes it pretty on the page/screen, takes care of all the formatting and uploading issues, takes care of distribution, and markets the hell out of your work – leaving you, the author, free to write your next book.
Yep, I’d say that’s worth something.
And in the digital era, that value-add doesn’t go away. Yes, you’re eliminating printing and warehousing costs when you move to digital, but you’re gaining costs for doing proper digital conversions to the proliferation of file formats and platforms out there. It balances out, really. For big publishers, converting the backlist to digital is all gravy; for small publishers, and for new publishers, the costs are all still there.
But the value is all still there, too. And that’s why publishing is such an exciting place to be right now. As technology gets better and better, and people get more wired, there will be more opportunities to get books out to readers, to really make connections with the audience and to tell stories in new, different, really cool ways.
And THAT is what is awesome about the digital revolution. We’ve got so many new ways to tell stories, and to get those stories out to the world. How can that be bad?