Problems with indie publishing were not invented here

May 13, 2011

I see a steady stream of posts on the problems with indie/self publishing. Some are thoughtful and reasonable (e.g. The downside of the e-revolution in publishing). Some are much less so, and not worth a link. Good and bad, though, share a common trait: They identify problems faced by self publishing authors as indie problems when those same issues are faced by any publisher. They tend to boil down to a set of completely valid issues: What to publish Quality control of the finished work (manuscript, formatting, cover art) Poor or unprofessional marketing, promotion and distribution They get sliced and [...]

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Indie Publishing: More Like American Idol Than Braveheart

April 8, 2011

The debate between indie vs. traditional publishing often sounds like a Braveheart monolog. “You may take away my extraneous commas, but you’ll never take away my freedom!” Frequently, the discussion revolves around an author’s ability to retain control of his work. Freedom and control are important, but they mean something very different for established writers like Barry Eisler or Amanda Hocking than they do for newbies and aspirants. Eisler is a traditional publishing best seller, Hocking an indie/self publishing phenomenon. Both have demonstrated an ability to write what people want to buy and read. Both have received a lot of [...]

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Indie Publishing: This Old House vs. The Woodwright’s Shop

March 24, 2011

I grew up watching This Old House with my dad. We’d watch Norm Abram (way back before he was a Master Carpenter) make an old wreck of a home look beautiful. One of the constants of the show was that the homes were always a frenzy of activity. Dozens of people were always framing, plumbing, roofing and finishing. The tools were amazing – I still remember seeing Norm’s laser-guided mitre saw for the first time. Houses were rebuilt to spectacular size and style, and an endless parade of specialists put their stamp on individual aspects of the home. A big, [...]

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Don’t think of publishers as gatekeepers

March 19, 2011

Lately, I’ve immersed myself in the buzz around independent publishing, ebooks and the desire for some authors to shift away from big publishing. On the indie side, authors are breaking free from “the man”, going their own way, and some are doing very well. On the traditional publishing side, authors, agents and editors point out that with indie publishing, there’s no garbage filter, that publishers don’t just find authors and stories, they improve them, and that a huge amount of work goes into making a manuscript something worth printing (or downloading). Both sides are right, as far as they take [...]

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