Monday, 5 March 2012

Is Amazon Kindle the New Slush Pile?

The recent spate of publishing deals offered to selfpublished authors on Amazon Kindle would suggest that aspiring authors need to seriously consider Kindle as their shop window of choice.

It stands to reason that the major publishing houses are going to look to the bestselling ebook charts for authors with a proven track record and, most importantly, a ready made fan base.  Why wade through slush piles of paper manuscripts metres high when the net is doing the sifting for you?    One click, and they can read the synopsis, and the readers' reviews. Thanks to the Look Inside option editors and agents can  read the first few chapters, on their iPhones, iPads and their even ebook readers - no self-respecting agent can now afford to be without one!

So who are these lucky - and talented - authors?  Kerry Wilkinson with three titles in the Jessica Daniels crime series hit the number one spot in the UK and was Amazon's number 1 author for the final quarter of 2011.  With over a quarter of million sales he was snapped up Pan Macmillan with a six book deal.  Amanda Hocking, the USA's leading author of paranormal novels has signed with the same publisher after allegedly making over £1.5million as a self publisher. And then there's Rachel Abbott, a British Author whose taut pschological thriller, Only The Innocent, is selling 3000 copies a day led to an offer which she has so far turned down!

I think it's brilliant for these three authors, and especially encouraging that the voice of the reader is now able to influence the decisions of agents, editors and publishers alike.  What does it mean for the rest of us writing our socks off?  Well it presumably means that the titles belonging to authors picked up in this way will take longer to come to market.  Also that the price of their paperbacks will fall, but that of their ebooks will almost certainly rise exponentially.  That should give other selfpublishing authors a chance to rise to the top of the rankings.  That must be a better way of making commercial decisions for the publishers, and a great opportunity for writers.

I wait with bated breath!