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E-publishing Should You Publish Your Book As An E-book The Global Numbers Game
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The internet is so wide reaching (hell, even the Pope probably has a Twitter account) it's important to note that the benefits and successes of e-books are not restricted to niche market books. Traditional commercial fiction can sell just as well with this method, if not better. The only difference is the stiffer competition within the commercial fiction genres. An author will have to work harder to market their book, but if they are savvy and can connect with their readers on another level, they can break through.
But, you ask, (I can hear your worriers chattering like teaspoons in a blender) won't e-books with narrow markets face the same problems as hard copies? It is true that there are only so many people interested in a specialised topic. So, let's return to the global numbers game.
Say 20,000 people globally enjoy this niche market. What are the chances that all those 20,000 are going to find your book, in an Australian (or a UK/US) book store within three months of its first release, the time given for it to prove itself before returning to be pulped? Guaranteed not even 1%. Not enough to guarantee further publishing and a chance to reach those other readers overseas. These books will never ever get traditionally published.
But the book has been written, so why should this book never be published, if it has valuable information? What about the potential readers who aren't in your country? Truth be told, the author has already spent hundreds of hours of work developing their novel before they have checked to see if it has a market. Initially, you write it for you, and then you write it to help others, then you think about making money off it. That's the creative process (though writers would find that if they did this process in reverse it would be more profitable in the long run. Thinking what the market wants/needs FIRST and then giving it to them will see you more successful than most commercial authors). The author, once they are finished, is invested in the project and does not want to see it take an extended holiday on their computer's hard drive. Can you accept those last several years (or decades) were wasted and move on? Or cling to your manuscript like a cat lady clings to her spinsterhood?
The best thing about the web is it doesn't matter where your readers are, you can reach them. It doesn't matter if someone discovers an interest in your topic two years after you have released the book - your book remains on the web and can be bought years later. Traditional publishing is restricted by numbers, time and geography. You may not be an international star but your hard work can still be valuable, to both your readers AND your bank account.
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