Have you ever had your own vegetable garden? If you haven't and you own some piece of land try planting some tomatoes and then taste and compare them with those you buy at the supermarket. There's no better analogy than this to compare independent author novels (like mine) with those you find in book stores. Do you know which is the first filter you have to pass just to convince some editorial to read your manuscript as well as a book shop to accept placing your book in some cornered shelf? That it has to fit in their production line. And this is not implied, it's their direct answer. How encouraging for writers and readers! Would you buy a tomato wrapped in a description of how much pig shit was used as a fertilizer and how much pesticides were used just to compete in prices with other farmers? Imagine how appealing would be a book whose blurb in the back cover says “The present novel fitted in the production line of...” Creativity, authenticity, personality, freedom of expression, aren't these characteristics what give sense to add one more block of paper and ink to the million already present in the market?
And what can we say about fairness in business? Even if you haven't written a novel you can figure out the amount of work this task means. Searching a bit on the Internet, you can find out which percentage the author gets from the book final price, compared with what the editorial, distributor and book shop get.
I don't know how many but I'm aware there are other authors publishing their books by themselves as I'm doing. Now, using the Internet doesn't necessarily mean cutting the chains, unfortunately most authors fall in multinational web sites (as I had to give up myself with my novels), which means passing from satisfying the requirements of a big brother to be a slave of an humongous one.
It's undeniable the black “cloud” in the horizon the Internet has meant to physical stores. In books case, it also affected big editorial companies with its old distribution model. Besides the online book shops and the digital formats (ebook) today you have the “print on demand” implementation, what forces book shops to pay for the books they want to have in their shelves. Then you have also the ecological awareness argument; at least here, in Barcelona, you see lots of new book shops exclusively dedicated to second-hand reselling. If things continue evolving in this direction, as they presumably will, it doesn't seem a bad idea for physical book shops to bet on dedicate a space to independent authors, it won't mean a salvation to them but some help at least. As it was done with organic food in food stores, it's a matter of initiative and promotion.
Someone may point that being an independent author implies that the same author have to correct, edit, illustrate the work (as I did) or to pay someone to do it. Personally I judged this was worth the pain.
Having all said in mind, wouldn't be marvellous to be able to buy a book directly from its author? This would avoid that production chain which is castrating the raison d'être of artistic expression itself. Well, good news, that's perfectly possible, I've published my novels in this, which is my personal website. Unfortunately, for printed copies we still depend on others, but to get a digital version you can contact me directly an get the copy by email as well as to agree the payment method.
Thank you for your consideration and help (in advance)!
©2020 - Walter Alejandro Iglesias
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