Writer scraps paperbacks
Better return from ebooks
The grind of chasing publishers and losing profits to bookstores and distributors has coerced a Lake Hawea writer to turn his back on producing paperback books. For the past five months Ray Grayton, author of eight ‘‘adventure-thriller’’ novels, has concentrated on selling his works on the online bookstore Amazon, ditching publishers and hard copies. Mr Grayton said his ebooks sold for US$5.50 with Amazon taking a 30 per cent cut, leaving him 70 per cent of royalties from the book. If a book was published ‘‘you’d clap your hands if you get 20 (per cent)’’ after publishers, book distributors, bookstores and literary agents got their cut, ‘‘and you’re the bloke that wrote the book’’, he said. ‘‘They are the four evils. Everyone has a finger in the pie and in the end there is no room for you.’’ he said. Downloading books from the site took 60 seconds, while having a book published usually took six months. It was also easier to have works reach a global audience without having to be accepted by a publisher first. ‘‘We’ve all had rejections, but with Amazon there is not criteria,’’ Mr Grayson said. Irish writer David Gaughran’s book A Storm Hits Valparaiso received more than 300 publisher rejections but within four months of being online as an ebook it sold more than 30,000 copies, he said. Mr Grayson said that though orders for his books, such as Straight Circle and The Celestial Looking Glass, were ‘‘trickling through’’ he was pleased the ‘‘ebook phenomenon’’ had meant he could continue to write novels. ‘‘I was actually going to stop before ebooks came,’’ he said.
Book ends: Lake Hawea author Ray Grayton has turned to publishing his works as ebooks due to a shift in the publishing industry.