That the publishing world is undergoing dramatic change is old news, although Hugh Howey in his blog recently predicted it will continue to change. Amazon’s new pay-per-page is just one example. (How’s that working out for you, by the way?)
One of the results of those changes is that many writers are eager to celebrate the end of a publishing contract. They want to take back their rights and indie publish. (Most experts advise that you do have an end date in your publishing contracts.) Some writers have readers eager to finally get their hands on a mid-series book that’s gotten hard to find. Others have the next book ready, but their publisher suddenly terminates the series. It is hard to find someone to pick up a series mid-stream. I had that experience. Some folks have landed a new press. Betsy Dornbusch just announced a new home for her series. (Congrats.) Others want to take the reins themselves.
Some authors who have published multiple books and are well established share this eagerness for release. They want to get their backlist back (hmm) and put it out themselves, changing that 7% or 10% or maybe 15% to 70% royalties (if it’s on Amazon, for example). As Dean Wesley Smith said the old model of publishing treats fiction like produce. It can’t stay on the shelves very long before it gets stale. But the new model lets writers have their books available all the time. When readers discover a new author they like, they’ll often read all of their books. Many want to start at the beginning of the series. They don’t worry that the first one might have been published quite a while ago. It’s not like wilted lettuce to them.
“O brave new world that has such people in’t!” Or book, Willie, books.