From writer to reader, directly
Until recently one of the most basic pieces of advice given to any author was to avoid vanity publishing. In other words, if you have a book, make sure you publish it via the normal routes, usually with an agent and a publisher, and for money. The book will be printed and distributed to bookshops, and every so often you’ll get a royalty statement which will tell you how remarkably little you have earned.
Is that all about to change? J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter books, has announced that her next book will be self-published in ebook form. For someone of Rowling’s fame this should be a commercial success easily enough, but it is possible that even people with far more modest reputations will in future be able to make some money by offering electronic versions of their work without the intervention of the traditional publishing industry. Perhaps even hard copy printed versions can in future be much more easily sold directly online.
It is to be hoped that this is exactly what will happen. An ever smaller number of ever more powerful publishers have been holding both readers and writers to ransom. It is time to break free.