After trying for several years to prepare novels for traditional publishing houses, I'm gradually being swayed into the self-publishing market. I'm particularly interested in Amazon's Kindle and Createspace POD publishing. I like the Kindle option because there are many ways for people to read novels, even if they don't own a Kindle! For example, you could do what I do, and download Kindle For PC … for free! Then read Kindle books on your computer!
Kindle editions are (1) less expensive for consumers, (2) 'green' as they require no tree-death procedures for paper-making, (3) better for authors as there's a greater profit-margin that cuts out agents and traditional book publishers. Excuse me if I think that's a good thing, especially after ten years of reading agent blogs like Ms. Snark that make fun of and put down authors… because there are so many authors they think they can get away with treating them like dirt, unless they want to profit off their hard work. Even agents should consider the implications their business ethics might have on future transactions, because the time has come when their services may no longer be needed, and authors will take other, more profitable paths to publication.
Last night I had a dream in which a couple of cute little girls were trying to get me to buy the weirdest plastic ice cream scoop ever. I really didn't want to buy it – especially at the ridiculous price of $5. The older sister was particularly pushy and came to me multiple times trying to convince me to buy this thing. Finally I relented and agreed to purchase her ice cream scoop, and she just laughed and said, "I finally did it! And I don't like you!" I was appalled at her behavior! I hadn't given her the cash yet, so I informed this child I would not be buying her ice cream scoop after all, and that she needed to think seriously of how saying such a thing affects her business! Thank goodness this was just a dream!
When I woke up I remembered a woman I know here in town. She was a co-worker who turned against me and treated me rather shabbily a few years back. Now she owns her own restaurant and I have never gone in there to patronize her. Because of her inexplicable disloyalty she has lost hundreds of dollars of business, not only from me but from others she treated in a very unkind manner. And that is how it should be. People need to realize that business is built, in large part, on the kindness and trustworthiness they can show to other people.
The Art of Ethical Business Practice
Business is more than just finding ways to get money. It is a spiritual path, one of creating relationships with our fellow human beings, of respecting them, and showing them the utmost kindness. We are in business because we provide something they need, and for no other reason. Those agents that have been so harsh toward writers are in business because writers want them to find publishers for their work, but as soon as they treat writers shabbily and start complaining about them behind their backs, the bond of trust is broken and the writers sense this even if there are no harsh words exchanged.
Therefore, as I go forth to publish my novels in Kindle format, and/or POD, I won't feel sad that an agent isn't involved, or a traditional book publisher. Though there are some excellent small press publishers available and accessible to new writers, it appears that most major publishing houses are not able to handle the massive numbers of manuscripts available. To most of us, their gates are closed, and their gatekeepers, the agents, have become difficult, and some are even unpleasant to deal with.