Montag, 21. März 2011

"Barry Eisler Walks Away From $500,000 Deal to Self-Pub"

Am Samstag erschien ein interessantes Gespräch zwischen J.A Konrath und Barry Eisler in J.A. Konraths Blog. Dieses Blog empfehle ich übrigens allen, die über unabhängiges bzw. E-Book-Veröffentlichen ihrer Bücher nachdenken (mir persönlich gefällt die Bezeichnung Indie-Autoren).

Der ausdrückliche Wunsch der beiden Krimiautoren lautet "Please help us spread the word". Das mache ich gerne. Hier einige Auszüge aus dem Gespräch:
Joe: So... no BS... you were just offered half a mil, and you turned it down?

Barry: Yes.

Joe: Holy shit!

Barry: I know it’ll seem crazy to a lot of people, but based on what’s happening in the industry, and based on the kind of experience writers like you are having in self-publishing, I think I can do better in the long term on my own.

und über die Zukunft von E-ooks:
Barry: ... you try a low-priced digital reader, and you love the lower cost of digital books, the immediate delivery, the adjustable font, etc... and you never go back to paper. The reverse isn’t happening: people aren’t leaving digital for paper.
Joe: We’ve discussed this before. Paper won’t disappear, but that’s not the point. The point is, paper will become a niche while digital will become the norm.

Barry: Agreed. Lots of people, and I’m one of them, love the way a book feels. I used to like the way books smelled, too, before publishers started using cheap paper. And you can see books on your shelf, etc... those are real advantages, but they’re only niche advantages. Think candles vs electric lights. There are still people making a living today selling candles, and that’s because there’s nothing like candlelight--but what matters is that the advent of the electric light changed the candle business into a niche.
und über Verleger/Verlage
Joe: ... And publishers aren't needed.

Do you think publishers are aware of that?

Barry: I think they’re extremely aware of it, but they don’t understand what it really means.

Joe: I believe they've gotten their business model mixed-up. They should be connecting readers with the written word. Instead, they're insisting on selling paper.

und über Autoren, Verlage und Bezahlung
Joe: You and I and our peers are essential. We're the writers. We provide the content that is printed and distributed.

For hundreds of years, writers couldn't reach readers without publishers. We needed them.

Now, suddenly, we don't. But publishers don't seem to be taking this Very Important Fact into account.

Barry: Well, again, I think they’re taking it into account, but they’re drawing the wrong conclusions. The wrong conclusion is: I’m in the paper business, paper keeps me essential, therefore I must do all I can to retard the transition from paper to digital. The right conclusion would be: digital offers huge cost, time-to-market, and other advantages over paper. How can I leverage those advantages to make my business even stronger?

Joe: We figured out that the 25% royalty on ebooks they offer is actually 14.9% to the writer after everyone gets their cut. 14.9% on a price the publisher sets.

Barry: Gracious of you to say “we.” You’re the first one to point out that a 25% royalty on the net revenue produced by an ebook equals 17.5% of the retail price after Amazon takes its 30% cut, and 14.9% after the agent takes 15% of the 17.5%.

Joe: Yeah, that 25% figure you see in contracts is really misleading. Amazing, when you consider that there’s virtually no cost to creating ebooks--no cost for paper, no shipping charges, no warehousing. No cut for Ingram or Baker & Taylor. Yet they're keeping 52.5% of the list price and offering only 17.5% to the author. It’s not fair and it’s not sustainable.

Barry: I think what’s happening is that publishers know paper is dying while digital is exploding, and they’re trying to use the lock they’ve always had on paper to milk more out of digital.
und was es für Autoren bedeutet
Barry: ... I plan to continue to publish short stories and I’ll be getting the new John Rain novel, The Detachment, up in time for Father’s Day, and I have a feeling that each of the various products will reinforce sales of the others.

Joe: ... My own sales, and the sales of other indie authors doing well, pretty much confirm that a rising tide lifts all boats. Virtual shelf space functions a lot like physical shelf space. The more books you have on the shelf, the likelier you are to be discovered by someone browsing. And when a browser reads you and likes you, she buys more of your work, and often tells others about it.

In other words; the more stories and novels you have available, the more you'll sell.

Barry: Gotta just jump in here to point out the significance of this. It means that a writer’s best promoting tool is once again her writing. Advertising costs money. New stories make money.

Joe: I told you so...

Barry: ... Now, with digital books, once again there’s no more profitable use of an author’s time than writing.
und weitere Vorteile für Autoren
Joe: ... a virtual shelf, like Amazon or Smashwords, carries all my titles, all the time. And I don't have to compete with a NYT bestseller who has 400 copies of their latest hit on the shelf, while I only have one copy of mine. We each take up one virtual space per title.

Second, virtual shelf life is forever. In a bookstore, you have anywhere form a few weeks to a few months to sell your title, and then it gets returned.
Joe: ... with digital you have the option to put an ebook on sale.
Barry: This was one of the reasons I just couldn’t go back to working with a legacy publisher. The book is nearly done, but it wouldn’t have been made available until Spring of 2012. I can publish it myself a year earlier. That’s a whole year of actual sales I would have had to give up.
und noch einmal über Verlage
Barry: ... The problem is twofold. First, by giving authors only 17.5% of the growth end of the business while keeping 52.5% for themselves, publishers are going to lose authors. Second, by attempting to retard the growth of digital--holding back digital releases until paper is ready, charging paper prices for digital books--publishers are thwarting their customers.
und noch einmal über den Buch-Deal, den Barry Eisler ausgeschlagen hat
Joe: ... I want to ask, can you reveal who made the offer?

Barry: I don’t think it’s a secret that the publisher was St. Martin’s Press. And my demurral had nothing to do with SMP specifically--in fact, I think they’re terrific people ...

So, were they shocked?

Barry: Well, certainly surprised and disappointed. And we tried to work out something a little different than what had originally been proposed, but in the end I just couldn’t convince myself not to go it alone.

Und noch viel, viel mehr, nachzulesen hier.

Zugegeben, das sind amerikanische Verhältnisse. Aber eher früher als später wird diese Welle auch zu uns herüberschwappen. Die ersten Ausläufer sind schon da. Ich zum Beispiel habe bereits Kindle-Bücher gekauft und soeben mein erstes Kindle-EBook veröffentlicht: Showdown in Wohlgelegen.

Sie haben kein Kindle-Lesegerät? Kein Problem, denn die Kindle-Software gibt es kostenlos für PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad und iPod Touch (benutze ich), Windows Phone, Android und BlackBerry.

Verwandte Posts:
Indie-Autoren und ihre (guten) Erfahrungen
Kindle-EBooks: Ansichten einer Kindle-Autorin

Bücher von Eisler: und Konrath:

Barry Eisler im Kindle Store

J.A. Konrath im Kindle Store

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