Hugely Optimistic

24 Apr

Of course, it’s terrible that the ‘Moon Man’ has been receiving death threats. But on the other hand it’s definitively shut him up. Kind of hard to judge that one.

Also, books on Kindle are going to be available to borrow, from libraries! This is fantastic news, I tried to find out how to make my books library-lendable last month, but just ran into dead-ends. Now it looks like I’m not going to have to do anything at all, except perhaps check a little “Yes please, make my books freely available to millions of people!” box. Maybe I’m just wildly optimistic, but I see this is a huge step forward for independent authors–assuming, of course, that Amazon is going to include indies (and why wouldn’t they? Well … but let’s not go into that right now). Getting books into libraries is so important, especially for authors who write kid’s or MG or YA fiction–when I was growing up I hardly ever got an actual NEW book, and secondhand books were limited to what the secondhand book shops (and one record store that for some reason always had loads of Dragonlance novels) had in stock. As such, being a voracious reader, I practically lived in the library. By the time I was sixteen or so I’d pretty much sucked it dry of anything even vaguely interesting–I’d go there and find nothing I hadn’t already read. Still, that’s where I discovered dozens of great authors that otherwise I would never have heard of, so with indie books potentially being made available to libraries … this is great. This is really, really great.


Posted by on April 24, 2011 in Of Writing


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5 responses to “Hugely Optimistic

  1. Mo

    April 25, 2011 at 10:10

    I was quite happy when I learned about the upcoming Kindle support for library e-books too. I was disappointed when I found out that the Kindle didn’t support library e-book lending through Overdrive and such (Overdrive is what my local library uses I think), since I had been looking forward to making use of that.

    I’ve read one e-book author complaining about Kindle lending policies, but in my view, it’s free promotion! It’s no different from going to the library for a regular paperback, or lending a book to a friend. Sure, they won’t buy that book, but if they hadn’t borrowed that book they might not hear about the author at all in the first place!

    Readers may borrow our e-books from the library, and then tell their friends, who may be just as likely to buy a copy as borrow one. It’s a great promotional tool in my view, and I think authors who are against libraries and lending are just being short sighted.

    • Ben White

      April 25, 2011 at 10:19

      Yep, exactly. Free promotion–and even better, effortless promotion. Anything that gets our books wider exposure is a good thing–and the longer I do this, the more I feel ‘actual sales in your first year aren’t important’. Exposure, exposure, exposure. E-publishing is the opposite of traditional, we build up momentum slowly, but we KEEP that momentum. We don’t have to worry about print runs or new books overtaking ours, we’re in print effectively forever. So I think probably the two most important qualities in an indie author are ‘perseverance’ and ‘patience’.

      So, now I just hope this program will include independent authors. It should, but if traditional publishers all gang up on us and start putting on the pressure … well, we’ll see. I think that in a couple of years, indepedent authors will collectively wield MORE power than all of the traditional publishers put together.

      • Mo

        April 25, 2011 at 10:36

        Yeah, I’m quite sure they will include us Indies. I think Amazon is making too much money off us to risk pissing independent authors off.

        The trick with the whole idea of us indie authors having clout, is how are we going to organize ourselves effectively so that we have a unified voice on issues that are important to us? I think that is something that we should be thinking about now.

  2. Ben White

    April 25, 2011 at 11:07

    Organising a bunch of writers, that sounds like the worst job that could ever be 🙂

    Actually, I think what will likely happen is that indie authors will become better at expressing their opinions to Those In Charge (mostly Amazon), via email. Email campaigns are easy to create and participate in, and have proven to be effective if you can get enough people involved. With the Internet, popular ideas can gain support within a matter of hours–minutes, sometimes. It’s democratic also, if an idea gains support it’s because people agree with it and take up the cause, no ‘representatives’ to muddle things. As time goes by I think that indie authors, as a group, will start to realise the power we hold. After all, like you said, Amazon has a vested interest in keeping us happy.

    Still, for now the traditional publishers do still have a lot of power. I’m not someone who sees them as ‘the enemy’, there’s room in the world for everyone’s books, but I could easily see them trying to pressure Amazon into keeping indies down.

    • Mo

      April 25, 2011 at 11:48

      Yeah, it’d be like trying to herd cats, lol.

      E-mail campaigns & online petitions would make sense. Online petitions and campaigns have worked in Canadian politics just recently. No reason they couldn’t work with private companies like Amazon, hell it’d probably be easier since private companies can respond faster.


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