When I got my publishing contract, I had to suddenly learn about how to market and all that fun stuff. So I found Joe Konrath's "Newbie's Guide to Publishing". Great book.
So I started following his blog. And I find myself in agreement with a lot of what he says about piracy, and ebooks, and how the publishing industry should adjust with evolving times. I have come to respect him enough, and find his opinions and studies valid enough, I plan on self-publishing any other books I write that aren't under contract.
I didn't used to think that. I used to think that if your book was good enough, some publisher would pick it up, and you would be set from there. Then I found out how publishing really works, and I'm now of the opinion that if I have to do the lion's share of the work, I want the lion's share of the prophets.
Not that I got into writing to make money. I long ago knew that wasn't a good motivation to write.
I am a storyteller. I like writing because then I can weave these tales together for people to enjoy, and be captivated by the world I've created. And if I'm in control, and I can set my price, and make my own cover, and am directly in charge of my marketing and reviews and everything else, then I can reach even more people.
I mean, I've seen how the price of a book can effect people's decisions to read. I've had co-workers be all happy that I'm a writer, and they're going to go right out and get my book...and then they stop because of the price tag. It's not stopping everyone, because I've obviously made sales. But it is a halting point.
Hell, I personally have problems buying books at their current costs. I read fast (when I read) and find myself hard put to justify the prices. Even when I can now claim books on my taxes. So I only buy what I really really really like. As a show of support for the author or the series.
But I digress. Mostly.
Joe Konrath is trying to prove that piracy doesn't negatively affect sales. (I agree with him that the best way to combat piracy is to lower the price.) He's now running an experiment through his blog. Check it out, and let's help with these studies. I know I'm interested, and there's free reads involved.