One of the writer blogs I visit frequently is J. A. Konrath’s. He’s a very talented novelist who writes graphic thrillers. I met Joe via e-mail a while ago when we exchanged some ideas about writing and publishing. (A link to his blog is on my homepage under “Blogroll.”)
Joe recently interviewed Barry Eisler, and posted the interview on his blog. Eisler, a very successful writer, made headlines when he turned down a $500,000 publishing deal because he decided to self-publish.
A few years ago, Eisler might have been committed and locked in a padded cell for making such a decision. However, his actions in today’s ever-changing literary landscape underscore the existence of a new publishing world.
One reason why more and more successful writers are choosing to self-publish is because of the overwhelming demand for e-books. If you own a Kindle or Nook or Sony Reader, you know what I’m talking about. E-books are available for as little as .99 cents. You can’t even buy a pack of gum for less than that.
Another reason that self-publishing is so seductive is because the author gets a much bigger slice of the pie when compared to traditional publishing. And of course, the vastness of the Internet offers tremendous opportunities for an author to reach his or her target audience.
I take my hat off to Barry Eisler. I admire his chutzpah. All things considered, I don’t think I could turn down a half-million dollar deal. But unlike Eisler, I’m still trying to make my mark as a novelist. Maybe in a few years, when I’m eating lobster instead of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, my perspective will change.