When author Eric Kent Edstrom announced the release of Afterlife, the second book of The Undermountain Saga, on his twitter feed on June 28th, 2012, he joined a growing trend of authors turning their back on the so called Big Six publishers in New York. High profile success stories like J.A. Konrath, Blake Crouch, and John Locke have uncovered profitable niches of readership by indie publishing their work using sites like Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords. Edstrom hopes to do the same in the young adult genre.
“Going this route is a calculated risk,” Edstrom said. “You forgo the shelf space at the local Barnes and Noble when you indie publish. But the upside is that you can make this amazing direct connection with your readers.”
The monetary rewards for indie publishers are not insignificant. Amazon’s KDP self-publishing platform pays out as much as 70% of the selling price to the author compared to less than 20% offered by the Big Six.
This was a key consideration in Edstrom’s decision to go indie with his current series. “The royalties offered by traditional publishers are miniscule by comparison to what indie publishers can earn. It’s disrupted the whole industry.” He also wanted to set his own price. “The big publishers tend to overcharge for ebooks because they want people to keep buying the paper versions instead. I’d rather my readers get a good value.”
The new world of publishing has lowered barriers for authors. But Edstrom admits that this presents a challenge for readers. “You have to be wary of the many poorly edited works that have flooded onto these new channels over the past few years. Fortunately, all of the online book retailers offer free samples of ebooks.”
Edstrom plans to release the final book in his series in time for the holidays. After that he intends to start right in on the next. “I love writing. I’m good at it. And now, thanks to this new paradigm, I can give my readers what they want. More books!”