Last night Eugene Teplitsky and I had a really interesting chat with Peter Smalley. Though we were sleepy as hell and probably not particularly coherent, the conversation did spawn some brainstorming and made the Curiosity Quills Press team realize anew just how vulnerable and naked indie publishers are – not very different from the indie authors they promote, I imagine.
I figure Curiosity Quills and Kindling are not the only ones out here hoping to help authors succeed (and succeed themselves, in the process), so I’d like to open up this conversation to… well… just about everyone. Publishers, authors, agents, readers.
The purpose is to lift that invisible barrier between each of the aforementioned groups and help us understand the shape the publishing biz is taking – and what sort of challenges each group undergoes that ought to be addressed.
So, to help guide this conversation, here are a few starter questions:
1) Readers: When you buy books, how much time do you spend researching your potential purchases? Do you meticulously study reviews, samples, etc. or do you – literally – judge the book by its cover mostly? What’s the most frustrating thing about buying books online? What about offline?
2) Writers: Quality, or quantity? How do you reconcile the $0.99 price point (and Amazon’s 35% royalty at this level) with the amount of time put into actually writing the book? How to reconcile a higher price point with the increased difficulty in breaching the sales ladders? What’s the most frustrating thing about dealing with agents and publishers?
3) Agents: How are you reacting to the changes in the biz? What new roles are you forced to take on to help your clients succeed? How do you reconcile drowning in the volume of submissions with the possibility of missing out on the next Stephenie Meyer (who literally would have fallen through the cracks if it wasn’t for an new hire not checking her word count)? Is there something you wish authors and publishers did differently?
4) Publishers: Besides actually making sales, what’s the biggest challenge you are facing right now when it comes to digital books? Is there something you wish agents and authors did differently to make your life easier?
So, whoever you are, share your two pence with us! Who knows where this will lead
PS: If you are on Google Plus, please visit https://plus.google.com/109560997737123153381/posts/d3od4qJBHWm for the main discussion page, so that we can keep as many comments as possible in one place. Otherwise, feel free to leave them right here below.