Apple last week announced a digital self-publishing program for its iPad giving 70% of revenue to authors, similar to Amazon's formula. Last month, Barnes & Noble also announced a service called PubIt!, allowing authors to post and sell e-books online.
Last fall, Jane Friedman, former chief executive of News Corp.'s HarperCollins Publishers, started Open Road Integrated Media LLC, which focuses on e-books, including authors who are willing to be published digitally before going into print. Traditional publishers such as Nashville, Tenn.-based Thomas Nelson Inc., a religious publisher, have struck alliances with Author Solutions Inc. for print and online self-publishing.
And a flurry of tech-focused startups now offers self-publishing services, including Smashwords, FastPencil Inc. and Lulu Enterprises Inc. Website Scribd.com says it publishes 290,000 independent books annually on its site, which authors sell at a price they set themselves.
Amazon executives say they signed Ms. McQuestion to the Encore imprint after noticing the positive user-generated reviews of her books. Thanks to its vast database, Amazon not only knows what people buy but also how they consume e-books—such as which passages readers most often highlight
As a reader, I cannot hate this idea any more than I do right at this moment. I hate the crowd-sourcing concept, which I blame for such cultural highlights at Jersey Shore, and I hate using technology to spy on consumers. It makes me want to run screaming from Amazon.
I know it's hard. You're a writer, you are frustrated by rejection. That rejection is so much about the lack of control - who is rejecting me and on what criteria? It's maddening, I know. As an Editor, I've struggled with rejection letters.
Self-publishing may be the way to go for some, but collective production with a point appeals to me so much more. I appreciate the model offered by The Nervous Breakdown, which publishes short pieces and hosts readings and parties, and has now announced that it will start publishing books through Hukilau - which admittedly, I know nothing about. But if you're going to get into the self-publishing game, this is the model I prefer. They have a community, they have standards, they have shared interests, and now they'll publish each other, for each other, and for others to learn more about and possibly join this community. I don't believe they are overtly political, but they are a community - and that I respect.
I must also say how impressed I am that bestselling author Brad Listi created this community after finding success. Now there's an author I can applaud - use him for your lede!