I was reading a tweet the other day about an author at ICM who announced to the world that he is going to stick his traditionally-published toe into the once murky waters of self-publishing. Why is this such an avant garde move? Because just 5 or 6 years ago being a self-published author was an albatross to the traditional community. I know. I was one of those birds. In 2008 when I self-published my first book, “Desperate Dating: 10 mistakes that will keep you single,” (little plug there) I had few examples of how to go about it. Dan Poynter was the only person with real skin in the game and the others were almost as green as I. But I, like them, pressed forward, learning all about cover design, layout, promotion, copyright and of course, writing. All the things the traditionalists got done through their respective publishing houses.
After I got my book online through a distribution house and was selling it on amazon, a traditionalist friend of mine began to inquire. He liked the idea of selling his books on his terms, having more control over his work and reaping the benefits of an abundance in sales since he already had established a following. What’s not to love?
So I showed him the ropes and he was off and running, never looking back.
Ah the good old days.
Fast forward to 2013 and the game has grown exponentially and is about to explode. More and more traditionalist authors are taking a second look at the step-child they once reviled. There are many implications to this new perspective, especially for those of us who still cannot boast big sales due to our relatively unknown status. But on the flip side, some of us are still breaking new ground; even getting a taste of that 15 minutes of fame we’ve all heard tell about.
So the question remains: who will win out in the end and is there room for all of us as the playing field gets denser?
Whatever the outcome, the real winner will be the reader.