This is a look at three different independent authors, a fairytale of sorts.
J. A. Konrath
All three of these authors have shown that self publishing works.
Amanda Hocking can almost be put head-to-head with Barry Eisler, as their paths have crossed, traveling in opposite directions on the publishing road.
Eisler started out in big publishing. He was a successful author with Putnam and turned down a $500,000 contract with St. Martin's Press (coincidentally the same press that eventually signed Hocking). Eisler left the storied publishing industry to go it alone.
Amanda Hocking, on the other hand, began her career as a self published author. It had been her dream to break into the traditional presses, but she was turned down and forced to go it alone. Readers quickly bought her Kindle e-books and she became one of the first authors to hit the 1,000,000 sales mark on Amazon.com. Then St. Martin's Press came to her with a gigantic contract. She left self-publishing for the security of the traditional presses.
J. A. Konrath is quite another story altogether. He's been a mouth-piece for self publishing for a while now, and like Hocking, has sold a load of copies through Amazon. If Hocking is Cinderella, hoping for her ballroom invitation, and Eisler the prince who gave up his crown, Konrath is the wizened wizard prophesying the kingdom's inadequacy.
Each of them have approached self-publishing differently, and each of them have found much success as authors. The more authors hit highs such as these, the more legitimized self-publishing will become.
But one must ask a question, why are all three of these authors on such different paths? Why would two jump ship while the third clambers to get aboard?
To me these three authors show how relative publishing is to the individual. Both traditional publication and self publication have varying rewards that appease different personality types. Self publication can work for the right person, but it's not for everyone, even for people who have success with it. The same is true for traditional publishing: it's not for everyone.
If you have a story and are weighing the decision of going it alone or with a publisher, what is your thought process?