There’s been a lot of buzz in the social media sphere about traditional vs self-publishing. And I’ve been caught up in it reading like a fiend. Here are a couple blog posts that I found very informative:
- Amanda Hocking and the 99-Cent Kindle Millionaires: post that really breaks it down for us (via Nathan Bransford blog)
- The Indie Book Writer Blog
- The Best Time in History to be an Author: a white paper by Keith Ogorek, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Author Solutions
- Traditional Versus Self-Publishing: a transcript of a moderated conversation between Amanda Hocking and Barry Eisler by Ted Weinstein; long but very informative and interesting look at both sides of the coin
- Ebooks and Self-Publishing – A dialog between Authors Barry Eisler and Joe Konrath (via Joe Konrath blog); again long but very informative
- The Numbers Game: a post about the financial aspect of self-publishing (via Joe Konrath blog)
- Guest Post by Mark Coker, creator of Smashwords (via Joe Konrath blog); an account of how Smashwords came to exist
- Eisler’s decision is a key benchmark on the road to wherever it is we’re going (by Mike Shatzkin on the Idea Logical Company blog)
There are a lot of perspectives and information out there right now.
Amanda Hocking, who has sort of been deemed the poster child of the self-publishing movement recently due to her much publicized success, gives us a glimpse into a world of self-publishing dreams come true. Word on the street is that she self-published and has sold more than one million books and generated more than $2 million in sales.
That being said, on her blog she also gives us a glimpse of real life. Self-publishing is not without incredible hard work, dedication, and sacrifice. Her two blog posts Some Things That Need to be Said and UPDATE What I Can Say Right Now bring to light to reality behind achieving such success and give us a great, realistic perspective of what it’s like to self-publish.
The issue that struck a chord with me is when she wrote about not wanting to run her own corporation, which is essentially what it means to self-publish. She blogs about not having much time to write because of all the other responsibilities she’s had to take on, the issues she’s run into with the editing process, and the issues around readers getting access to her books. It’s not all unicorns and cash.
What I also love is the reality check she gives us:
I guess what I’m saying is that just because I sell a million books self-publishing, it doesn’t mean everybody will. In fact, more people will sell less than 100 copies of their books self-publishing than will sell 10,000 books. I don’t mean that to be mean, and just because a book doesn’t sell well doesn’t mean it’s a bad book. It’s just the nature of the business.
And while her success thus far in the self-publishing world has been incredible, I think her most recent post (The Blog) where she tells readers she’s taking a traditional publishing deal with St. Martin’s Press to publish four books tells us that self-publishing and traditional publishing are working together to provide more opportunities for authors and more choice for readers.
In the end, what I’ve learned is that with either traditional or self-publishing, there are no guarantees of wealth, sales, or success in the writing world. That being said, I don’t know about you, but I am pretty pumped up about being a writer in this day and age because there just seems to be more and more doors opening to enable great writers to CREATE and CONTROL their own path to success. And that bodes well for all of us!
What do you think? Is the world of book publishing changing? How will you capitalize on it?