Ever since Amazon launched its Kindle e-reader, in November 2007, the device has exploded, driven by the wide appeal of $9.99 digital best-sellers that were available on the same day as the hardcover edition.
But now, big-name publishers are facing stiff competition from the previously scorned self-published market.
Louisville businessman John Locke, for example, [is] a part-time thriller writer, whose titles [are] all priced at 99 cents. Mr. Locke earns 35 cents for every title he sells at 99 cents. Altogether, he says his publishing revenue amounted to $126,000 from Amazon in March alone.
It costs him about $1,000 to have his book published digitally, complete with an original dust jacket image. He also hires an editor to work with him at additional expense.
Such books are the equivalents of 19th century “dime novels.” I certainly won’t read Mr. Locke, but clearly, there are those who see value in his books. And that “value,” more than anything else, must stem from the feather light price tag his series carries. Or, perhaps they genuinely relish tawdry fiction.