The e-book is the perfect product. Under the previous paradigm, at least ten percent of all production was wasted at an enormous cost in labour, raw materials, environmental degradation, shipping, fuel, storage, insurance, and other liabilities.
Other liabilities might include benefits for employees, or the cost of rezoning in order to locate an industrial plant and administration.
The e-book eliminates all of that, by a factor of well over ninety-nine percent.
It does not require paper, it does not require ink, or a printing press or trucks going down the road.
Online retail operations require far fewer employees, and they can be centralized rather than dispersed, subject to countless local pressures and multiple independent retailer agreements.
The only thing required to produce an e-book is knowledge, some talent of a creative nature, and time. It takes a relatively simple computer, and an internet connection
Where else could I have found a business where I could invest the fruits of my labour, that is to say e-books, at $0.99 each and give them away, at no cost to myself, thereby building up a clientele?
How would I have learned the shameless art of self-promotion, a shy guy like me with nothing to sell?
That's why I give so many books away for free. Each one represents about a dollar in promotion, or advertising, or however we choose to describe it.
The experience is priceless. You can't bottle it and sell it or I would.
It's a paper transaction, where I give up a dollar to get a customer! Yet I still have positive cash flow, when normally, four out of five businesses fail within the first two years due to lack of sufficient capitalization. Of the survivors, most of them bleed money for the first two years before ever turning a profit.
So why then, would I polish up a manuscript and submit it to a major publisher?
Why not? It's not like I haven't learned a lot about writing and the business. It's not like I haven't heard the criticisms or sensed the jealousy.
But more than anything, it represents a bigger game--one that's more exciting and so much more challenging.
I don't believe in miracles, and I never rely on luck.
We'll see how it goes.