Rowyn (rowyn) wrote,


J. A. Konrath: "You Should Self-Publish"

In the last few years, I've read a lot about self-publishing. I've watched some very hard-working friends enjoy a modest degree of success self-publishing. I definitely believe that there are situations where self-publishing makes sense.

Even so, this essay struck me. Because it's the first time that I've seen someone who

a) Was traditionally published and moderately successful in print
b) Decided to switch to self-publishing
c) Now believes that not only was self-publishing the right decision for him, but that it is the best option for basically all authors, whether they have been traditionally published before or not.

And that last made me go "Whoa". Here is an author contending that traditional publishers are offering authors virtually nothing of value beyond editing and cover-painting services that an author can contract elsewhere. That the whole "cachet of having been vetted by the elite of the industry" is a myth. That e-book readers do not care whether your book is self-published or traditionally published. That traditional publishers are not really doing anything to promote sales beyond placing your book in stores, which you can do yourself in the e-book world.

And that is just ... whoa. A big claim to make.

I do not know if I am convinced; Konraths's numbers, especially the assumption that sales will remain level over any given period of time, struck me as overly simplistic. It also seems to me that publishers at least have the potential to add considerable value to the process, but that doesn't mean they actually are. Still, food for thought.
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