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September 24, 2009


Kris Lozano

Thank you for giving us a healthy dose of informative reality and balance.

Rachel Starr Thomson

"My money is on a more balanced future one where self-publishing and traditional publish co-exist and are in fact even more inter-twined than they already are."

I couldn't agree more.

Jane Friedman

Excellent advice, couldn't have said it better myself. I am often guilty of mentioning people like Brogan, Harwood, and Sigler -- and not quantifying the amount of time it took them to achieve the traditional success. The amount of sweat-equity required is always significant! And people need to have the right expectations.

Seth Harwood

Truth is, writing is hard. Marketing and selling books is hard. As authors, we always want to hit that point where it's "easy street" and everything just starts to move on its own (or on other folks' backs). Fact is, that's not out there. It's always work. Get used to that.
If you're really doing the writing, getting your time in at the page every day, you'll feel better about all the rest of it. And it'll work itself out for the best.

Janet O

I'd been going to a writer's group on and off and it got very depressing after a while as all they did was promote their self-published books and slam the mainstream publishers, agents etc..

For them, it was the way to go to get that book out, then they realized that they had no means or money to get it into stores or into the readers' hands. I finally left.

Getting self-published I think will work for a book I'm writing about local history, but though it's hard, I'm working to get my novel manuscript into a tradition publisher's hands. That's my goal.

April L. Hamilton

I think publishing is looking more and more like the movie business all the time, with the big, conglomerate publishers releasing the blockbusters and 'tentpole' books while small, independent presses and individual, indie authors serve niche audiences all along the margins. And that's a good thing.

There's more than one way to reach a readership and to reach your goals in authorship, and while self-publishing isn't right for every author or every book, it absolutely *is* the best choice for many of us at least some of the time. I agree that in the future, most published authors will be doing a little of everything: self-pub, mainstream pub, online serialization, podcasting, and more.

Henry Baum

I think this is a strange post.

"I disagree that self-publishing is always the best way to go for every writer right out of the gate."

I don't see a lot of people advocating that self-publishing is the route to instant success. More, the advocacy says it's an increasingly-viable fallback plan, giving how hard it is to get published traditionally by a mainstream house. But distribution is most often better with a traditional press. Who's making the argument that self-publishing is ideal?


Great article! The thing authors need to remember is that once they are published, they are not so much "writers" but "marketers"--regardless of how they get there. Getting published traditionally does not let them off the hook when it comes to promotions. A solid promotions campaign is the best way for authors to be published successfully.

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