A Tale of Three

This is a look at three different independent authors, a fairytale of sorts.

Barry Eisler
Amanda Hocking
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?

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6 Responses to A Tale of Three

  1. Most probably feel the have more control with self publishing.

  2. Many seem to. I think I would be more proud of having success in self publishing than with traditional publishing. I'd feel it was more "my doing".

  3. This is a great post, very informative and easy to read. I know nothing about publishing either way, thanks to yu I am learning some of it. Thank you, I appreciate it.

  4. I always think that to start with self publishing would need a greater capital but looking at how Roy did it with our book through a publisher, I'm really not sure how it goes. I'm not sure if there is a definite criteria for publications.

    I hope to be more enlightened on this matter ;)

  5. I think it's possible to do it without an investment in money, so long as there's a huge investment in time. But that's only because times have changed. Twenty years ago there was no print on demand, there was not Createspace or Lulu, there certainly weren't any e-books or e-book publishers. There wasn't even PDF.

    All of these things have made it possible to do for free what once cost $10,000.

    Perhaps paying for marketing can make a difference, but the money better be well spent and well thought out. It's pretty easy to throw money away if you market to the wrong people. But even then, writers are lucky to make their investments back. Publishers don't break even a lot of times.


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