|(Versión en castellano)|
Have you ever planted your own orchard? If you haven't and you have 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 an independent author novel (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 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 webs, 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; 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.
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, at least in my case this is possible now, I've published my novels in this, which is my personal website. If you find some of them appealing (you can read the first chapter online) you can send me an email letting me know which one you wish to have, and which way of payment you prefer.
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. For now I just offer my books in digital format but, depending on the success of this initiative (i.e. that you and other readers dare to buy a book in this way) I'll be able to pay a short print run edition and offer it also in printed paper.
Thanks for your consideration and help in advance!
©2020 - Walter Alejandro Iglesias
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