Saturday, July 09, 2011

The eBook Revolution and Independent Authors

If you're an independent author or a writer who has thought of publishing on your own, take heart in knowing that the book industry has had its virtual doors blown right open by the evolution and revolution of ebooks. Over the past three to five years, we have seen huge changes in the industry as traditional-style publishers imploded their usual models and ways of doing business, laid off employees, consolidated imprints under one roof, and basically went into full panic mode. Amidst this chaos, ebooks swept in, gathered hoards of loyal readers, converted the technically challenged into switching to ereaders, and forever changed the face of publishing.

There has never been a better time for you, independent author, to publish your own book!

You know, the one you have dreamed of publishing for the past X years; the one you have slaved over in the wee hours of the night while your kids were sleeping. Gone are the days when "self-publishing" was something to scorn or steer clear of. The negative stigma that self-publishing once held has evolved into the journey of a writer to fulfill his dream, to get his work published and read. Just look at the success of 'Donovan Creed' creator John Locke or Amanda Hocking, two superstars in the indie world. 

Sure, there are always people who will demote an indie author to the realms of "hack." Some will even tell you, "Don't become an indie author; it'll ruin your chances of getting a 'real' publisher." But there are far more who are willing to give you a chance.

My journey as an author started in self-publishing. I paid a subsidy company for a package and they helped get my trade paperback into the hands of readers. That was back in 2003. That book was Whale Song. People told me I'd ruined my chances for a career as a writer. People told me I was crazy, that no one would buy my book. I was told that a traditional publisher would never re-publish Whale Song, that film companies would never consider it for a movie. With all that negativity, you would think I would've crumbled and given up. Sadly, many writers do just that.

I am a dreamer. My motto has been: 'Dare to Dream...and Dream BIG! And if that doesn't work, Dream BIGGER!!!'

People tried to kill that dream with their negativity, but I kept pushing on, believing that I could make it work. And I did. Whale Song was re-published by a traditional publisher. It has been considered by a half-dozen filmmakers, and while there hasn't been a movie deal, that's still more than what most authors see. Whale Song is a National Bestseller in Canada. And it is now indie published by me again, in ebook and trade paperback.

Every bestselling author started where I did. With a dream. And a story. Just like you, independent author. We all start at the bottom and it's up to us to start moving up that ladder of success.

I'm not saying that traditional publishers don't have something to offer; they do. What I'm saying is, why wait around for years when you can publish now and see success now. Perhaps your next book will be picked up. Or the one after that. Or never, and you'll be fine with that because you'll be earning more as an indie author anyway. However, if you do find a traditional publisher, make sure they are riding the ebook wave and embracing the technology. Too many of my friends had their ebook rights tied up by their publishers, with nothing to show for it. And often when they did see an ebook edition, it was priced so high that readers steered clear.

Readers love that they can now get books for under $5. They don't care as much about waiting for the hard cover editions; they'll happily dive into the ebook. Some will even buy a print copy afterward if it's a favorite. And they don't look for just the 'big name' authors anymore. Why should they? You'll pay $8 or more on average for a well-known author's ebook. You can buy 4 or more of mine for that same price, depending on the titles you choose. My ebooks are all priced at $4 or less. Right now, they're all priced at $2.99 and less during the Imajin Books Summer eBook Sale.

My latest novel, Divine Justice, hasn't made an impact on readers or other publishers or movie companies. YET. But that is going to change. Why? Because this Christmas people are going to be finding ereaders in their stockings and under the Christmas tree. I predict ereader sales will triple that of last year's sales―at least. And those people are going to want one thing―CONTENT. They're going to spend Christmas day loading up their new Kindle. They'll read more ebooks over the holidays than they have in the last year. They're going to be looking for good deals, and indie authors can give them that.

Ereaders are the gifts that keep giving. Not only will Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Sony ereader owners stock up on great books, they'll tell their friends and families that they now have an ereader. This makes gift giving a cinch. This past year, I bought a Kindle for my father and a Kobo for my mother. Guess what they're getting this year for Christmas? Ebooks! I can gift titles directly from Amazon and Kobo Books to their ereader. I can give them Divine Justice.

Sales are only going to grow with my latest thriller. People will get hooked on Divine Intervention, book 1 in my Divine series starring a covert team of psychic government agents. Next, they will pick up Divine Justice, book 2. Then they'll discover I have 6 other ebook titles just waiting for them. And best of all, they're priced from FREE to $3.99 on Amazon or Smashwords.
If readers can find my books―and they are―then they can find yours, dear independent author.

Just visit or to check out my titles and view the stunning book covers. You can also watch some sizzling book trailers, follow me on Twitter or 'Like' my Facebook page.

~ Cheryl 


Valerie said...

Your blog popped up in my google+ stream. Enjoyed the post very inspiring. Thanks for sharing it!

Cheryl Tardif said...

Thanks so much, Valerie. I'm glad you enjoyed my post, and thanks for letting me know about Google +. :-)


Doreen McGettigan said...

Thank you so much I agree this is a very inspiring post. Just when my nerves were getting the best of me because of my publishing choice!

Cheryl Tardif said...

Your very welcome, Doreen. And try not to let your nerves get to you. Dive it! Head first! The water is warm. Besides, then you'll have one choice: sink or swim. Swim, dammit, swim! :-)