Does Kindle Publishing offer a way for non-fiction writers to be more creative and take more risks with their material? Do you think it is an asset for authors of self-help books?
Why or why not?
You bet. It can be cheap and immediate. Of course, the author still has to be the one to sell it. Jeff
If you are talking about self-publishing eBooks I think that authors do have a lot more freedom to publish stories that might have a smaller market. I wrote a self-help book for spouses of people with bipolar disorder. That's not something most people would be interested in and not something I felt I could sell to a traditional publisher. Now that it's selling online, I'm realizing that there's a larger market than I thought, still, probably not nearly large enough to hit any best-seller list, but large enough.
It's not without it's problems, though, I worry a bit that the freedom to self-publish non-fiction can mean that anyone with an axe to grind or a half-baked idea can type it up and make a book out of it and by the time he gets caught a lot of people might try to use the misinformation and be hurt by it. I know there have always been that type of book out there, but they could easily become a lot more common. And that would be bad for business.
I just hope that the people who are careless enough to spew misinformation are careless enough to skip the editor and proofreader so that it's easy to tell the difference.
Bonnie, you definitely have a point here. And this raises another fact - along with authors being given more freedom to publish whatever they want to, readers are being given more responsibility to decide on the validity of the information and its value. Are they equipped to make that decision? I'd like to think so. I've always found the system of mainstream publishing slightly unfair in a sense. The system definitely works, but the reader isn't valued enough in the equation. There is room for manipulation when it comes to what books are bestsellers or not (I suppose that's true of digital publishing too). With mainstream publishing, the reader never gets to make the decision about what they want to read in the true broad sense that digital publishing affords them. I think that readers are equipped to decide, but they just don't know that they need to use these skills since with the mainstream model, such skills are not required to this degree - the work is done by editors and researchers, and there seems to be a level of expertise because of this. The truth is that while writers need to take responsibility for what they put out to the world, readers need to take responsibility for the information they allow into their lives.