My Sweet Situation
I’m not going to lie, I’ve got it pretty good.
When I create a new product, I can be fairly certain that it will be judged based on its merit because I’ve got a large enough audience listening to me that I’m able to get a fair representation and feedback.
If it sucks, they’ll let me know. If it’s great, they’ll buy it in droves. Meritocracy!
And even better, I’ve been able to climb from one end of that spectrum to the other due to this same audience. They’ve helped me improve my craft and in doing so have helped me create things that they want and will pay for.
This is not the same experience that everyone has, unfortunately.
In many cases, an author will release an ebook and it won’t be to the sound of fanfare and coins in the register, but to the chirping of crickets and the flutter of moths flying out of their pockets.
This doesn’t mean that my work is any better than theirs, it just means that I have an advantage, and one that I’ve gained not by being the best author in the world, but by being good at other things like design and branding and marketing.
Building my blog has allowed me to be a more successful entrepreneur.
And though I’ve benefited from this situation, it really isn’t ideal. It leads to an indie publishing scene populated by marketers and businesspeople rather than a marbled-cocktail of authors, bloggers, businessy-types and random Joe Everymen/Everywomen with a good idea.
In my mind, creatives of all sorts – authors, I call them, whatever medium they happen to communicate in – should be able to make a living from their work even if they haven’t the foggiest idea of how to build a sales page or write a newsletter.
It should not be a requirement that authors learn to manage a community or edit a WordPress template; these are skills that help one to sell, but not skills that an author needs to create great work. Business-savvy authors should not be the only ones able to get their work out to the world, or the only ones able to make a living from their craft.
And it’s with this idea in mind that I started up Ebookling.
Ebookling Enables Indie Authorpreneurs
The premise of Ebookling is to turn authors in Authorpreneurs: creatives who own their work and have control over their financial destiny.
The less these creatives have to worry about making a quick buck to survive, the more they’ll be able to do what they are passionate about, creating better and better work and making it available to the rest of us. Yay!
Ebookling’s place in this is to provide a platform for these authors, giving them the resources they need to take their products to the next level, the connections they need to fill any gaps in their process (designers, translators, editors, producers, etc) and a centralized store where they can sell their work to a large and varied audience…much greater than the one they would normally have access to (their family and friends, or perhaps a blog audience if they’re lucky).
New Methods, Mad Scientists
Traditional publishing models make sense for some types of books and authors, but for people who wish to be Authorpreneurs, they simply don’t jive.
Selling the rights to your work, scaling it back or editing it to appeal to a larger (more mainstream) audience, and a hundred hands in the pot, all waiting for a piece of action that your product is bringing in are just a few of the downsides of the traditional publishing route.
There ARE better ways, and most haven’t even been attempted on a large (or small) scale yet.
We want to be a hotbed for experimentation when it comes to new distribution, publishing and monetization models for publishers of all shapes, sizes and media.
Whether you’re keen to sell your novel as a serialized newsletter (a chapter each week, sent to subscribers) or your how-to book as a multimedia experience (with built-in video content, interactive worksheets and an online forum to exchange insight with readers), we want to explore what that would look like and provide the audience to help test it.
We also want to get the reader involved, allowing them to become curators of their own stores and be paid to support their favorite authors.
To this end, when you sign up for an account with Ebookling, you automatically become an affiliate. If you click a button to share a product listed on our store with the world, your affiliate code will be attached, and any sales that come as a result will net you 25% of the total cost.
You’ll also be able to add ebooks and other products to your ‘Favorites’ and from that build your own personal Ebookling store, which can be embedded on your website or blog. All products on this store also have your affiliate code attached, so sales that come through will earn you the same 25%.
We like to see the situation as win-win-win-win: the author makes money selling their products, Ebookling makes a cut of each product sold, the affiliates make a cut for each product THEY help sell, and the reader gets exposure to work they never would have found otherwise.
Did I mentioned that the affiliate’s cut comes out of Ebookling’s share of the profits, not the authors?
This is just one of the ways in which we plan to help grow a new generation of Authorpreneurs.
Join the Authorpreneur Movement
If you’re interested in being a part of the exploration, publishing your work or checking out the new indie publishing scene, head on over to Ebookling.
It’s time for some new ideas. If you have them, we’d love to hear from you.
Also: we’re launching Gwen Bell’s and Everett Bogue’s new ebooks at Ebookling along with the new site, so take a look at their offerings and then poke around the site a bit. If you have any ideas or encounter any glitches along the way, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org