STATUS: The great thing about rainy days and Mondays is that you don’t mind working when that is the case!
What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? TIME & TIDE by Basia
As you folks know, as an agent, I’ve pretty supportive of self-publishing. I’ve discussed JA Konrath and his efforts on my blog and provided links to his blog. I’ve taken on self-published authors–even way back in 2004 when it was not the “cool” thing to do. I’m not remotely threatened by the transformation that electronic books are creating in the publishing realm and the opportunities it creates for some debut authors who don’t go the traditional route.
In short, I’m fairly levelheaded and sanguine about this whole topic but I have noticed a rather worrisome trend as of late. There seems to be a rather skewed perspective that ANY author can make it rich, be successful, if they just eschew traditional publishing and forge ahead in the electronic world.
It’s as if these voices completely forget about the amount of marketing and promotion that successful self-publishing authors such as Konrath, Doctorow, McQuestion, and Hocking have done. It’s like they have the assumption that all these authors did was throw some manuscripts up on the web and the money just started rolling in. On top of that, there’s an attitude that these authors stuck it to the publishing man—a finger to the perceived “gatekeepers” of the industry.
And I just want to add one other thing. Regardless of whether an author self-publishes or pursues traditional publishing, some writers just win the publishing lottery and their books become major successes.
We honestly don’t know why that sometimes occurs; and even more telling, why it sometimes doesn’t occur—even for some really good books. It’s basically a mystery. (And of course I know every blog reader can point to one book they think is totally awful and was a big success. Truly a mystery!)
So yes, I totally believe that statistically, some authors will self-pub and become great successes with huge numbers. They have, in essence, been one of the lucky ones to win the publishing lottery.