Agent Michael Larsen recently posted on his blog 12 Wasy to Excite Pros About Your Novel. He mentioned the usual things - great writing, irresistible first page, your online following....
And self-publishing. eBooks, podcasts, serializations, blogs.
He sees it as test marketing.
Since he didn't go into a lot of detail, I mentioned some of my own plans in the comments section. Serializing my already self-published work is a no-brainer, but I am considering "sacrificing" the first Mick and Casey novel to an online serial and self-publication.
He replied: "You won’t be sacrificing your book. You’ll be building an audience for it."
You know, as I read all the blogs, I'm not hearing a lot of agents so openly encouraging this. But I'm not hearing many openly discouraging it either. Which is a sea change.
A lot time ago, before "March of the Penguins" I saw a small documentary on the Emperor penguin's march to the sea, which pointed out one other odd behavior where penguins and people are the same. The penguins would march for days, starving, to get to the sea, and then when they'd get there, they wouldn't jump in. They'd just mill around on the bank, which would get more and more crowded. Then as the crowd pushed and shoved, some penguin would fall in. And then suddenly they'd all rush to jump in, until some penguin hesitated, and then they'd stop. And mill around until somebody fell in again.
I think this is where we are in the new publishing paradigm. Milling on the bank, falling in, jumping in, hesitating. Me, I'm still sitting on the bank, splashing my feet in the water (because I have longer legs than a penguin), but I'm thinking I may be doing a further dive soon.