The flood gates have opened in the ebook marketplace. It is now so easy to self-publish that anyone and everyone is doing it. But is that a good thing?
For every new release onto the market, existing ebook sales get diluted. Ebooks don't have a shelf life. They are eternal, there forever unless the author/publisher takes them down, or the etailer decides to remove them for some reason. Just how many ebooks can the market sustain before even the best of writers are making very little money from their hard work?
In the past few months I've seen my ebook sales diluted to about a quarter of what they were. This is due, in part, to the tough economic climate. But having even more of an impact on sales is the proliferation of new books. Ebooks are literally exploding! New authors and new books are being published every second of the day. Ebook publishing platform, Smashwords, will have published around 90,000 ebooks by the end of 2011, as compared to a total of 28,800 at the end of 2010. That's tripled in one year! And not every self-published author distributes through SW. Many are content to just hawk their wares on Amazon's Kindle platform.
So where does this end? How many ebooks are going to be on the market by the end of 2012? Can websites like Amazon and the iBookstore continue to just upload book after book endlessly?
The only real answer to this is some form of quality control. Many ebooks are brilliant, the majority are quite good, but just as many should never have the chance to see the light of day. After all, not everyone is a writer, but these days anyone can be a writer. Poor writing, grammer, sentence composition and endless typos often place an ugly and permanent scar on the face of self-publishing. The etailers will eventually need to start enforcing some form of quality control or their websites will ultimately drown in a rising tide of ebooks.
My Kindle Books