Michelle Knight. Writer, photographer, programmer, truck driver and general, all round nut case. Life is a journey and that's what this blog will probably end up being. Let's see where we go, eh? ;-)
Since I re-entered the world of publishing and faced the shock of how things are today, it is clear that the future for authors and readers, is Indie.
As I blogged several months ago, Mal Peet talked with Nick Higham about authors salary and that the average income has dropped to £11,000 - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-30259716
Of course, the spread is uneven, the figure is dragged upwards by the very few authors making big money. But the fact is that the system is broken. Publishers are getting away with hideous contracts - https://www.authorsguild.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Fair-Contract-Initiative_mission_Final_6.pdf - and although the Authors Guild has started up an initiative against this - http://www.thepassivevoice.com/05/2015/authors-guild-announces-fair-contract-initiative/ - it seems practically doomed to failure when you read the apathy towards the AG in the comments.
The fact is that there are Indie publishers out there, just as there are Indie authors and Indie book shops. The terms are a damn sight better and if you opt for no advance then sometimes no contract. Down side is that you have to work at marketing and you're up against the big guns.
Truth be told, I'm waiting until I've got a small back catalogue, before I start booking my holiday leave to stomp a trail; I've only got so many days in a year and there's the house to be painted, windows to be replaced, sinks to repair, etc. and everyone is flooding the same publicity channels as well. No, I'm going to have to get smart with my time and effort.
Where I would like to see some work done, is Indie shops talking with Indie publishers. I believe that, together, they can act as a filter ... I mean, who needs automated ratings systems and "fixed" reader reviews on Amazon; and masses of hype by the big pubs when you've got a shop that's able to pick out the cream of an Indie stream.
There's been increasing disappointment in books ordered from reviews which have, "stars," but no actual critical content to their reviews. More and more, I read about books over-hyped like bad films. I've had more success with books recommended by friends and recommendations from indie book shop tweets.
It really does seem that the future of my reading, as well as my writing ... is Indie.