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I realize some book-lovers find this a terrifying time. Everything in the publishing industry is in upheaval. Bookstores are closing all around us. Publishers and online retailers are battling each other in the courts.
Change is scary.
But you know what’s scarier than change?
Before the electronic revolution, publishing was a calcifying industry:
- New writers found it impossible to break in.
- Whole genres were eliminated at the whims of a handful of corporate marketers
- Anything innovative was stifled because it didn’t have a “track record.”
- Successful career authors were dropped if they couldn’t produce annual blockbusters in spite of no marketing budget.
- The antiquated system of returns—which makes every bookstore a consignment shop—means publishers waste millions shipping books back and forth to warehouses and eventually pulping them.
I’m sure you’ve read rants about how the eBook and Facebook are killing real books.
But they’re not. More people are reading now than ever before. We are not losing our literature to a “tsunami of self-published crap.”
There is certainly a lot of not-ready-for-its-close-up writing out there. But you don’t have to read it. Every book on Amazon has a “look inside” feature, so all you have to do is take a peek. Amateur writing announces itself in the first five pages.
But the self-publishing revolution is helping us all grow in new directions. I love this joke from social media guru Kristen Lamb: “Great, thanks to that Gutenberg jerk, everyone can be published.”
Just as Johannes Gutenberg took power from the ruling priestly caste and gave it to the people—who could then read the Bible and find out for themselves what it said—eBooks and POD technology are taking power from the ruling publishing caste and letting the people decide for themselves what they want to read.
This means more power is now in the hands of readers and writers than any time in history.
Thanks to eBooks, cheap POD paper books, and social media marketing, writers can now go directly to readers with fresh, innovative ideas and stories.
If they want to.
Here’s the thing: the revolution doesn’t mean everybody has to self-publish. But the self-publishing option changes the playing field for everybody.
Your life is being changed for the better by the electronic revolution right now—no matter where you buy your books, or what format you use to read them.
I admit to preferring paper books, and I’m not self-published, but that doesn’t mean I have to support the old paradigm. I’m published with a small digital press that is as non-corporate as they get. All profits from the company go to fund literacy programs in East Africa. But I’m making a living writing.
That’s why I’m proud to be part of the “indie revolution” and the Indiestructible team—both as a writer and a reader.
100% of proceeds will be donated to BUILDON.org, a movement which breaks the cycle of poverty, illiteracy, and low expectations through service and education.
Alex J. Cavanaugh <> Angela Brown <> Anne R. Allen <> Briane Pagel <> C.S. Lakin <> Ciara Knight <> Cindy M. Hogan <> D. Robert Pease <> Dawn Ius <> Emily White <> Greg Metcalf <> Jadie Jones <> Jessica Bell <> Karen Bass <> Karen Walker <> Kristie Cook <> Laura Diamond <> Laura Pauling <> Laurel Garver <> Leigh Talbert Moore <> Lori Robinson <> Melissa Foster <> Michael Offutt <> Michelle Davidson Argyle <> Rick Daley <> Roz Morris <> S.R. Johannes <> Stephen Tremp <> Susan Kaye Quinn
Anne R. Allen is a former actress and stage director who lives on the central coast of California. She’s the author of six romantic-comedy mysteries. Her newest is NO PLACE LIKE HOME. She has written a guidebook for authors with Catherine Ryan Hyde (author of the iconic novel Pay it Forward.) HOW TO BE A WRITER IN THE E-AGE…AND KEEP YOUR E-SANITY! She shares an award-winning blog with NYT bestselling author Ruth Harris at Anne R. Allen’s Blog…with Ruth Harris.