Digital Self-Publishing Revolution Again: Knowns and Unknowns

Okay, the last post now, for a while, on the digital self-publishing revolution.  Here is an article that lists a number of known facts about the changes in the industry and things presently unknown.  Interestingly there are a few things that digital self-publishing cheerleaders tout as known facts that are, in fact, far from certain at present.

It’s an interesting piece.  Give it a read.

7 thoughts on “Digital Self-Publishing Revolution Again: Knowns and Unknowns

  1. Interesting article. And if e-books have reached 20% of revenue, that means more than 20% of units sold, because (from what I’ve read) publishers’ margins are lower on e-books.

    I did a lot of reading on Smashwords last night, thinking about whether I’ll do my mystery book as an e-book. The number of different file formats and the lack of ability to tweak formatting was discouraging, but this article gave me a powerful argument against going the e-book route. It mentions sticking with “straight text” books for now, but my mysteries are not straight text. There are maps, floor plans, and even images of key clues. Will those display properly on all the various devices and in all the various formats? Who knows. So, it will probably be hard copy and web for me, where I have control.

    • Yeah, I thought the note about straight-text was interesting. Since I don’t have an e-reader, it’s hard for me to know what a finished ebook product would actually look like – but the map thing was something I was thinking about, too, in the context of fantasies. Maps are a common part of fantasy series – and for example it doesn’t do much good for a reader if they have to be sitting at a computer while reading, if they want to refer to a map, to view one that’s posted online… it sort of would defeat the whole purpose of an ebook (i.e. the infinite portability). I think the text-only aspect is only true on e-ink type devices (which can only display in black-and-white) – obviously the iPad, Nook Color, and other color/tablet devices can do images without any problem. In theory, I would think, the e-ink devices can do black-and-white images, but they may not be optimized for that kind of thing – or possibly the formats aren’t. I don’t know. I’m definitely no expert on it. (I better understand the business side of things.)

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