Without boring you with needless details, I ended up at a craft show – something I consider akin to the seventh layer of hell. Soaps, candles, things made of wood – needless to say there was little I found interesting.
So when I came across a local author peddling his books, it stood out like a sore thumb. Great, another author to speak to, I thought.
“There’s no money in ebooks,” he told me, when I mentioned that my first ebook was due out in a month.
I decided to forgo a lengthy argument. The man was in his 60s, and said “social what?” when I talked about marketing online.
His argument? “I sell 20 print books to one ebook.”
I didn’t bother to mention the success stories like Hugh Howey. Or the plethora of authors who make decent (as in, sustainable) livings off ebook-first martketing strategies (Michael Bunker comes to mind). I also didn’t bother to mention that it’s not really about the money anyway – my goal is to break even with costs, with anything extra coming as a bonus.
I did point out that he was putting his marketing into his print books, with nary a mention of ebooks. Why it wouldn’t occur to him that was the likely reason they were selling better is beyond me. It seemed an odd comparison when he put a lot of time into his sales pitch for his print edition, but expected his kindle editions to just sell themselves.
It’s not the first time I’ve encountered people who don’t understand ebooks and indie publishing – and I can hardly blame the man (and frankly, his local history books will probably mostly appeal to an older audience, though I found them interesting myself). The takeaway is that I plan to keep doing what I’m doing.