After much consideration, and given that I’ve decided that ebook sales is the path I’ve chosen to try and actually earn a living as a writer, I have officially decided to cap the cost of any ebooks I produce at the low, low price of $0.99!
As of right now, digital copies of my short story collection Bad Timing, are available for a variety of platforms for less than the price of a dollar menu cheeseburger.
Anyone who’s followed my ramblings here will know that I’ve spent the past couple years trying to figure out a way to survive in the publishing industry of the future. At this point, it seems as though waiting, hoping and relying on legacy publishers to actually create some jobs is a pipe dream. I’m more convinced than ever that those outlets that used to be a productive home for so many creative minded people are going to continue to shrivel up and blow away.
If you’re job isn’t outsourced, it’s been downsized, and publishers are all-too-happy to totally devalue the work of writers and artists, all while worshipping at the alter of supposed profit margins from advertising. That’s their choice (albeit, a rather stupid and short-sighted one, in my opinion) and it might make sense if I believed that advertising and publishing actually have a future together. But as technology has progressed, its becoming more and more evident that advertising latching on to publishing products, be they in print or online, will soon be a fondly remembered sign of days gone by. Publishers don’t have the exposure or platform to keep advertisers much longer, and will inevitably lead to an ugly divorce. And having gutted, outsourced, downsized or laid off a great chunk of their content creation capabilities, publishers will once again find themselves behind the eight ball, offering content nobody wants cranked out by the lowest common denominator and little to no means of generating enough revenue from it to even keep the lights on.
No, hitching my star to that sinking ship is definitely not the answer anymore. And don’t even get me started on the online only alternatives. Unless you want to work at slave labor, content farm prices, or worse yet, for free, that’s not a viable alternative either. Not to mention demeaning.
So, these past few months, while I’ve been absent from this site, I’ve been prepping my ebook venture, Watershed Publications, for a soon to be booming expansion in offerings. Keep reading as there will be some interesting announcements about future offerings and possibilities coming very soon.
I watched a video online the other day. It was an interview with a man, who like so many of us these days, has been trapped by our failing economy. He had a 20 year career in broadcasting snuffed short by layoffs and he’s not able to even sniff a job that doesn’t involve the phrase, “Would you like fries with that?” To make matters worse, his wife, complete with masters degree in tow, has an array of career options in front of her involving running a cash register for $8 an hour. The frustration in this man’s voice was palpable, and he said some things that clearly resonated with me.
“There’s a revolution coming,” he said. “We can no longer depend on finding a job to pay the bills because the jobs simply aren’t there and they aren’t coming back any time soon.” His point was that each and every one of us need to look at our own unique skills and find our own ways to generate income. He’s right. We can’t rely on the corporations for a living wage anymore. They’ve shown their hand, willing to screw their own employees to save their own ass. And the government? Please! Our representatives stopped working for us a long time ago. The dirty little secret no one wants to say is that the corporate, financial, government sectors of this country simply don’t give a shit about us anymore. We’re no more than walking, talking little ATMs, and as our balances continue to dwindle, our usefulness in their eyes have collapsed in unison.
We, as a people, need to create our own economy. We need to break free of the corporate stranglehold on our futures. We need to make certain our government gets the message to back off. If you’re not going to lift a finger to help us, then just sit there and shut up. We’re maxed out and we don’t have any more money for you to legislate out of our pockets. Don’t get in our way and we’ll fix this problem ourselves.
Sorry, got to ranting there a little bit. But the quote from the classic ’70s film Network seems like a pretty good mantra for us going forward. “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take this any more!”
So get pissed off. Get riled up. And most of all, get out there and let’s all start taking care of ourselves. If it isn’t obvious by this point, no one else is gonna do it for us.