Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Amazon and Self Publishing

So you want to self-publish with the hopes of quitting your day job, or maybe you like the idea of seeing your book in print, but mostly you like the convenience of publishing on Amazon. Not every writer is happy with Amazon, and if you follow the news, that probably doesn't come as a shock. Now, authors are upset with Amazon because of their program Kindle Unlimited.  

What is Kindle Unlimited? It is a program that offers readers a chance to read over 700,000 titles for a nominal fee of $9.99 a month.

This is a great idea if you want your story being read, but not a good idea if you depend on the commissions from your book sales.

As an artist you want your voice heard and your work reviewed by the biggest audience, and that is one of the benefits of self-publishing on Amazon. It is the age old question about what is more important to the artist? Is it the money or the creation that has the greatest value? Just because it has value to the creator, does it carry any value to the reader that pays for the book? Amazon readers might expect the best deal, and there lies the conflict with art in a consumer world.

As a business person an author values their work and desires the appropriate compensation for their work, and Amazon offers writers a big chunk of the profits. It isn't easy to self-publish and make a profit, but at this point in the game Amazon is the best place for an author to make a profit and do it with minimal risk.

Yes, an author could use the traditional route to get their work in front of readers, but that doesn't that always mean the author controls the finished product or how that finished product makes it to the hands of the readers.

Is this a good business idea for Amazon? This model hasn't seemed to hurt the movie industry, because Netflix hasn't meant the end of video sales. It just gives people the convenience of watching lots of movies and televisions without the cost of cable or cost of purchasing DVDs they might not want to own. 

The author doesn't need to stay in the program or even sign up for the program, but a self-published author that depends on the income generated from book sales might panic when income drops.

It might be too soon to say that Kindle Unlimited is a bad idea, but right now some authors are upset with lost income created by the system. Amazon might respond to author concerns, but at this moment they are trying something they hope works.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Finding Time to Unwind

What kind of writer are you? Do you wait to the last minute to write your piece? What kind of habits do you have that make you a more productive writer?

As a writer, I find it hard not to not think about writing. I look at someone and wonder what kind of character I could turn them into and what characteristics borrow from them and add to a character I already have in a piece of fiction I am working on or worked on in the past.

I won't lie and say that I physically write something everyday, but I will say that I am constantly working on something in my head. I am always looking around, be it reading a news article, a work of fiction or non-fiction, and I am always watching movies and television to see how they build a character and tell a story. I watch enough television and movies to know that there are good formulas and some really bad formulas for telling a story, but sometimes the formula can be ignored if the characters grow.

I find it hard to always find time to unwind and take a break from writing, because I am always thinking about writing. It might be better ways to edit a piece of writing, or just the simple search for the right title for a piece of writing I am working on at the moment.

I wish I could find more time to unwind, but I haven't found a way to unwind. I am in search for the perfect story, and I am sure it doesn't come as a shock to every writer out there, because artist are always working on their craft to a point they never rest.