This is a cool article describing the various ways that romance writers are taking advantage of the digital publishing world.
Recently, Belleville decided to make a change to the covers of her Lucy Kevin books: "I first had photo covers, and when I changed them to illustrated covers my numbers literally changed overnight," she said. Belleville said she's constantly in contact with readers, and has written sequels to books based on popular demand.
This modern ability for an author to connect directly to readers is exemplified through social applications such as twitter and, even better, GoodReads.
On top of getting reader feedback/sales statistics almost instantly, we also find this:
Since most of her sales are online, she now does much of the work a publisher used to do: copy editing, graphic design, promotions. When she can't do it herself, she hires someone.
That last paragraph ties back to this recent post, where I suggested that publishers need to communicate their benefits to authors better. A talented new writer looks at that paragraph and (notwithstanding time constraints or personal interest) thinks, 'I'm supposed to give 85%+ of my profits to someone who does work I can do myself?'
Now, it's not fair or accurate to say that publishers don't provide value for their cut of your sales. However, with the self-publishing hype in every writer's dreamy eyes, what are publishers doing to dispel these impressions?
The article is an exciting look at one of the modern avenues of publishing, and you can check it out in full here: http://www.wnyc.org/articles/wnyc-news/2011/jun/29/same-old-story-romance-writers-recycle-pulp-books-e-books-and-reap-rewards/