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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Indie v Traditional Publishing « Kristine Kathryn Rusch

The Business Rusch: Hurry Up. Wait. « Kristine Kathryn Rusch:

"The problem comes in trying to talk from one side of the publishing divide to the other.
Since folks steeped in traditional publishing only look at how well a book does in its first  year—really, its first month–on the stands, traditional publishing folk look at almost all indie titles as failures.
Think about it: If you expect a book to sell thousands if not tens of thousands (maybe hundreds of thousands) of copies in its first year, and you hear that someone is happy with 500 sales scattered over 12 months, you’d see that as a failure too.
The folks who believe in indie publishing only hear that a book goes out of print in less than a year, and is probably done earning after that point (except for a few high-priced e-book sales), and they wonder who would ever sign a deal like that. After all, books can now last forever. Or as long as we read books electronically and in paper form. The virtual bookshelf means that books don’t have to go away to make way for next month’s books. Books will remain easy to find with the click of a mouse.
Traditional publishing doesn’t want to hear that a book might sell 10,000 copies in 10 years. The economics of their business make such a concept laughable. No traditional publishing house could remain in business right now with that kind of sales record. (For more on how traditional publishing economics work, see the blogs I’ve labeled “The Publishing Series.”  They’re a little dated, but still accurate.)"

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