Writer scraps pa­per­backs

Bet­ter re­turn from ebooks

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS - By CHE BAKER

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.

Photo: CHE BAKER 628204894

Book ends: Lake Hawea author Ray Gray­ton has turned to pub­lish­ing his works as ebooks due to a shift in the pub­lish­ing in­dus­try.

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