There's a lot of stuff going on right now about Us vs. Themism in publishing, which is nothing new, and nothing I haven't been hearing my entire publishing career. But since I've recently taken the self-epub plunge myself, I thought I'd talk a little bit about the whys and wherefores.
Have I turned my back on NY? No, actually. I have another traditional print release coming up in August. I just happen to have some projects I think are better suited to the independent publishing path. For instance, Mad Stone is a novella (technically, a novelette) and I've already discussed why there isn't really a NY market for it.
I don't think traditional publishing is history, by any means. Changing, yes, but people are still buying books in print, and I would still like to see my books in stores and on shelves. Also, selling specific rights to a work for a specific amount makes it much easier to budget than trying to guess what monthly royalty earnings will be. And there are things a publisher can do for me and my books that I can’t do myself.
What about an established epublisher? Again, there are things that can be accomplished through that route; for starters, books published that way are eligible for awards, and in the case of Samhain, have the opportunity for brick and mortar bookstore distribution.
I’ve always appreciated having choices and options for my career. I thought epublishing and traditional publishing were both valid choices when I first started selling, and I still think so. I also still think it’s up to authors to educate themselves about the pros and cons and really investigate the business angles before making a choice; I saw way too many people leap on the epublishing bandwagon, for instance, with no real clue what they were getting into. Many wound up crushed by their failure to earn over $100 on a title or tied up in epublisher bankruptcy litigation. (And the awful truth is that some didn’t care as long as they got to be recognized as Published in RWA.)
It behooves every writer to treat their business like a business, to do their research and not get sucked into hype. To know their goals, and to choose the path that works for them. And in at this point in time, to be open to possibilities. The more emotional the arguments for and against any particular publishing path become, the more important it is to stick to facts when trying to make a decision.