This post is part of Cover Design Week. To see other posts click the CDW tag below.
Over at his blog, A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing, Joe Konrath puts an axe to industry-determined royalties and costs, including the cost of designing a book cover. It’s a must-read for any independent author trying to make sense of the current pricing/cost landscape.
Joe’s post is also an important reminder that valuing a book’s viability or merit based on the perpetuation of publishing’s own overhead is invalid on its face, if not fraudulent. In fact, I think the idea that authors should take advice and accept criticism from people whose steady paychecks and health care plans are paid for by exploiting author’s works has run its course. If the only defense of the publishing industry you can muster is also a defense of how you yourself directly profit from the status quo, then you have no defense. What you have is self interest, bias and creeping fear disguised as experience.
For my money, the first person in the publishing industry who figures out how to value any author’s work apart from protecting industry overhead will be the person to watch.
On a related tangent, careful readers will note that Cover Design Week is now in its second week here on Ditchwalk. Because no good deed ever goes unpunished, I fell behind last week when I tried to correct a small problem with my computer using my original WinXP Pro disc — which promptly rendered my main computer completely inoperable. (Amazing, but true. The hardware I’m now running was unrecognizable to the original disc, but that didn’t keep Microsoft’s install routine from rewriting critical sections of my MBR, turning what had been a perfectly functioning machine into a brick.) The irony in this case is that while a wealth of computer experience (and support from others) helped me diagnose the problem, it’s a problem I wouldn’t have had if I hadn’t been mucking around with my machine.
— Mark Barrett