Sunday, August 5, 2012
Cheap Ebooks could be harming the industry says author
Mark Billingham, author of the Tom Thorne detective series, criticised the growing self-publishing industry that allows writers to sell their work electronically for pence.
Mr Billingham, 51, was responding to fellow author Stephen Leather after he said e-books provided a better deal for readers and writers, who can undercut those using traditional publishers and agents.
Mr Leather described the industry as “shifting units” to “punters” at the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate.
But Mr Billingham received applause from the audience when he responded by saying books were devalued if they were sold for “less than half the price of a cup of tea”.
Author Mark Billingham attacked the industry of self-publishing.
Last year, there was a 60 per cent rise in the number of self-published titles as electronic readers such as Amazon’s Kindle grew in popularity.
Some 211,000 works were self-published in either print or digital form while Penguin books owner Pearson bought out self-publishing firm Author Solutions for $116 million (£75 million).
Earlier this year, crime writer Kerry Wilkinson became one of the most popular authors on the Kindle chart after selling more than 250,000 e-books in six months. His self-published debut novel, Locked In, was sold for just 98p.
Mr Billingham, whose detective novels were turned into the Sky 1 crime drama Thorne, released his latest novel, Rush of Blood, on Thursday.