Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Why Not Traditional Publishing?

Someone asked this question in the comment section of my post about my upcoming Kindle Publishing Experiment. "Why not use traditional publishing?"

It's an important question, but it's the wrong question. Asking that is like asking someone who went and got some Chinese dumplings for lunch why they didn't get a delicious panini instead. I am not (I repeat I AM NOT) forgoing traditional publishing.

You should never do something, especially something as difficult as publishing, because something else isn't working out for you. You should do it for its own sake.

Self-publishing is for people who want to be a publisher. It's for people who desperately want to do marketing and editing and layout and design and copywriting and bookkeeping. That's a separate profession from being a writer. If you want to be a writer, you need to find a publisher who is at least as good at their job as you are at yours (and preferably better).

This upcoming publishing dare is an experiment. I'm doing it for it's own sake. I am not willing to sacrifice any of my other writing to this experiment. And because I don't have time to write anything new, I would have put it off -- until I remembered that I already had a novel that actually was tailor made for this.

For those who are interested in some of the pros and cons of self-publishing, you might look at this post on J. A. Konrath's blog "Whoa, There eBook Writer!" Konrath is highly successful at self-publishing, but he got there through traditional publishing.

Part of the purpose of my experiment will be to set a baseline - to try to separate out the process from other factors, like the fame of the author. (More about that tonight.)

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