Friday, July 27, 2012

We are the Forerunners

My favorite weekly German news magazine "Der Spiegel" surprised me last week with an article about eBooks and becoming your own publisher;a newsworthy topic that filled two pages. Germany seems to have cultivated its own answer to "Fifty Shades of Grey" with somebody called Jana Falkenberg and this lady is  quoted as the paradigm for e publishing. Writing under a pseudonym about her bedroom conquests in the style of a popular women's magazine, this "Jana Falkenberg" is most elusive; is not available for face time and her cell phone number is changed regularly to keep her identity a secret. Allegedly, she is in marketing otherwise.
Jana explains how she converted her book into an e data format on one afternoon after creating a cover page on the cheap with a designer friend. All she has to pay now is for the domain name (19.95 EUR a year). "Traditional publishing houses want to rip you off by paying only up to 20% royalties max," she said. "Now I can stick out my tongue at them!" The going rate for her eBooks is EUR 3.49 a piece.
Well, we all know how it works, we Indie authors and others.
One traditional publisher commented that the industry feels ripped off after investing a lot of money into e publishing. In all fairness, his main investment was inot an online dating site if affiliated with another reputable newspaper.
Other traditionals like the owner of dotbooks who only went online last week predicts that paperbacks will be extinct in two or three years. "The times of begging traditional publication houses to take your book are over!"
The way to becoming a publisher is also described in that article.
The magazine claims that there is a movement by authors away from traditional publishing and going your own.
If I had the choice between self-publishing and a reputable publishing house, I know who would win hands down.
Germans are still very tentative when it comes to reading eBooks. Most people I talked to had never held a Kindle in their hands and proclaimed they still preferred a paper book.
Why was I surprised? Germany is leading in many areas of technology be that alternative, renewable power, cars, or high speed trains. Yet a little thing like a Kindle (and its brothers and sisters) hasn't been embraced yet. Hence our fellow scribblers or after hours writers as they were called by the Spiegel, are lagging behind us the experienced, e - plus self -published authors, Twitter and Facebook savvy and all!
Siggy Buckley
Siggys Omnibus:  

1 comment:

  1. I was interested to learn about the lag in e-readership in Germany because it's also true for China where I was hoping to publish a translation for my book, Memoirs of a Middle-aged Hummingbird, in e-book format. I haven't found a way to do it yet since e-readers are not that popular there.