...or Self-Publishing in the Era of Self-Publishing Part 2
Thanks to Michael Stone for pointing me to Brian Keene's post of January 4th. (I can't seem to read Keene's blog at school...something about "adult language" filters it on our network...go figure.)
Keene starts the ball rolling nicely, and the comments (and there are a lot of them), are almost more insightful. The take home message (in my opinion): Brian Keene would sell a fair amount of self-pubbed books. I wouldn't. Not that I needed 125+ comments on Brian Keene's blog to tell me that.
Yeah, my Mom would buy a copy and that's all great. I'm sure some other folks would, too. Most people in my life wouldn't be able to tell the difference between self-pubbed and anything else, just like they don't know the difference between POD and traditional publishing. People who don't think about and discuss writing everyday...well, they don't think about this schtuff. Duh.
But I'd sell more self-published books now than I would have three years ago. Technology (web, POD, ebooks) allows me to have a voice, but no one has to listen. I have to give them a reason to listen. Keene has done that. Author's with name recognition have name recognition for a reason: consistent, professional performance. Building that audience doesn't happen overnight, and with the weird crap that I tend to write, my potential audience size is probably limited. I'm okay with that. If writing becomes just another job, I'll quit. The stories will make me quit because I won't be writing them. Not the right ones, anyway.
If my name is my brand (and as a writer, it is), I want readers to know what to expect. I want them to be happy they spent fifteen minutes in my head. Well, maybe not happy, but fulfilled in some way. Freaked out, maybe.
So will I self-pub a book of my work? Maybe. Someday. I think cost has to be correlated to name recognition, though. Little name = little price. Clear the path for potential buyers to take a chance on you. And for the newbie who hasn't, at the very least, made the rounds of the small press and semi-pro markets who thinks his/her short story collection/novel is going to the top at the low Amazon.com POD price of $16.95...good luck with that.