The other night I went to a workshop at the Ottawa Public Library about how to self-publish your books on Amazon. It was given by Teresa Morgan, who writes Sheikh books and is a member of ORWA.
Her books were initially rejected by Harlequin but since putting Handcuffed to the Sheikh online in 2011, she has sold almost 20 000 copies.
She took us step by step through the process of putting something on Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing program. It's surprisingly easy, which does explain the ready availability of crappy books.
But it's also very encouraging for want-to-be authors like me. The news from the world of traditional publishing is very discouraging. The midlist authors are gone, meaning I would have to shoot from being a new author to a superstar within my first two books. That is incredibly difficult. There's no more efforts to nurture new talent and help them to grow and find a place. It's all succeed beyond reason or be shoved aside so they can try someone else.
And a 6% royalty fee vs a 70% royalty fee also makes traditional publishing less attractive.
On the other hand ...
With Amazon I will never likely walk into Chapters and find my book on the shelves. I also have to find a way to distinguish myself from the thousands and thousands of awful books out there. It's going to be a lot of work.
First step is to make sure my book is as good as it can be. Then I'll start worrying about the next step.