- Agents/Literary Agencies becoming publishers - Sensing that indie authors have realized they don't need agents, and to stay relevant (solvent), several respected agencies have announced new epublishing ventures. I see this as a conflict of interest. No way around it IMO. I would not be happy with my agent becoming a publisher.
- Pricing - There are those who argue that free or .99 books devalue our work. Their stand is that we're communicating to readers that what we do isn't worth a decent (according to us) price. I say books have always been discounted, sold as used and remaindered in the traditional publishing business. I don't see how this is different, except authors are in control. So if your audience is willing to pay your price, then what does that have to do with other prices for ebooks? People who are fans of the Stephanie Plum series are going to buy it, even if another author is charging .99. If readers don't like a book, no price is going to get them to buy it (and not return it).
- The indie publishing market is now flooded with crap - How is this different from any other time? Okay, so maybe it's just me, but I've seen floods of books before that sit gathering dust. Some of those were in bookstores.It only takes one bad book, maybe two if they're generous, for readers to stop voting with their money. And for them to tell their friends, "Don't bother." Readers will figure it out, trust them.
But somehow over time this morphed into most authors being treated as necessary nuisances (doormats), the low people on the totem pole who just had to take all kinds of crap and not respond. I even remember being told we had to understand of Editor A or Agent Z was having a bad day, even if it was our own editor or agent. We just had to grin and take it. "Be professional and suck it up", was the message. So a lot of us complied. Some grumbled about it (raising my hand here), but still followed the rule.
Bump that. I expect to be treated with the respect due a valued content provider. Like Miss Manners I would never stoop to reacting in kind to bad behavior (okay, sometimes I slip on this one), but I won't put up with rude, condescending behavior -ever-again. No author should. The reason publishers have books to sell (and make a profit on) is because you (authors, I'm looking at you) wrote a book that people are buying. The reason an agent is collecting 15% is because you wrote a book that a publisher paid for, and people are buying.
Now let me say I've worked with wonderful editors, and met respectful agents. So don't think I'm painting them all with the same brush. I won't detail the bad experiences, and some I've heard from other authors. I'm just saying that indie publishing has put us in the driver's seat as never before. Some of us traditionally published authors just aren't used this new role. Frankly, for a lot it's scary. Some have retreated to the comfort of having contracts and not having to think about covers, reading sales reports from various outlets (like Kindle DP and Pubit) and more. That's fine. There is no one way for us to get our stories out there.
But one new, and IMO refreshing, thing is authors now realizing they don't have to walk on eggshells when it comes to certain practices and behaviors in traditional publishing. Folks are speaking up in ways that would have caused gasps of horror just a few short years ago.