Know Your Business: Indie eBook or Traditional Publishing

So I'm reading about the indie eBook publishing revolution till my brain is numb. But that's part of being a good author--being a solid business person. You have to know your business as well as your craft. After all, if I can't afford to stay in business, I won't produce much writing!

My advice to fellow authors is to do your research and think very carefully about which direction you should to go to be published: indie ePublishing, such as Amazon, or traditional, such as one of the Big 6 NY houses (which aren’t really six, but that's another conversation).

Did you know:
10-20% of Barnes & Noble's Top 100 come from PubIt?
Amazon owns around 80% of ebook marketand about 20% of print in the UK ?

WADE THROUGH THE INFO
Now there's a lot of information to wade through about ePublishing vs. traditional publishing, so I've got a few links to get you started.

1. First off, read the sales stats for eBooks. This is an industry that's doubling sales every few months. My two favorites are:
B) http://idpf.org/about-us/industry-statistics (these are last year’s stats, but shows the pattern)

2. Second, know how readers find eBooks so you understand where your audience could be:

3. Next, read how some compare the traditional model with the independent model. Warning: despite the rants, there's a lot of logic to their cases. Mostly, writers have been getting the worst of the profit margins for a long time and the new model offers them a way to greater financial success and personal control.
A) Kris Rusch: http://kriswrites.com/2011/09/21/the-business-rusch-professional-writers/ (wade through the 1st half to get to the meat of the article)
B) And her husband, Dean Wesley Smith, on thinking like a publisher: http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/?page_id=3736

DECIDE IF YOU’RE READY
4. Now you need to understand whether YOU should indie publish or not. Whether you have a backlist (many books already written and published and the rights have reverted back to you) or you are new and therefore a frontlist author. Bob Mayer gives one of the most frank observations of this topic at http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/2011/06/20/if-i-were-an-unpublished-author-would-i-self-publish/

5. And if you need examples of some agents eliminating the traditional NY publisher middleman from the model... http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/trident-media-group-launches-trident-e-book-operations_b38794

THINK FOR YOURSELF
These articles should be enough to get you started understanding the basis for this revolution and why you need to think for yourself so you don't fall into the same old pitfalls authors have been experiencing for years.

Frankly, I'd like to believe my readers and my students have the strength of self-esteem to NEVER work for free as an author (don't make me have to hunt you down and smack you upside the head!)

STAY OPEN TO ALL POSSIBILITIES
But I think the real lesson here is that it's important to stay open to change. And not to be afraid to take your career into your own hands. We're the only ones who are responsible for our success and failures.

Personally, I have submissions with several agents as we speak. And I have a couple publishing houses in mind that I'd like to target. (Berkeley, are you out there?) But I can't afford to be a fool either. Even if I get offers, I have to weigh the financial benefits and risks to my career. That and I have to answer to my partner and most patient husband.

So I'm keeping that indie eBook door open for now... And that's the best way to manifest the future: to believe that I'm going to publish means I WILL be published. Either way, traditional or indie, it's true.

In the meantime, our job remains the same: write amazing stories that capture your readers. And love every moment of being an author, both the craft and the business.

Cheers to all our successes! And please share this to your fellow authors and tell me your favorite sites/articles for info on these subjects...
Your Editor Devil