Barry Eisler rejects huge contract!

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Barry Eisler rejects huge contract!

Postby Preacher » 31 Mar 2011, 11:04

I guess that by now this is old news but best selling author Barry Eisler turned down a $500,000 contract to go the route of self-publishing. He was interviewed by author JA Knorath and i found his answers and insights very interesting.

The trend, as far as Barry sees is, might lean toward his route in the future with a huge emphasis on the e-publishing market. I was wondering what you guys think about this and, for a first time and unpublished writer as of this moment, is the self publishing route something that would be worth considering. It seems that it is easy enough to self publish a novel for the digital market.

Thoughts, comments, points?
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Re: Barry Eisler rejects huge contract!

Postby Guardian » 31 Mar 2011, 15:07

I also meditate on self publishing because of various reasons...

#1 - The story stays as it is and I don't have to convert it to a trendy mainstream cliche (i.e.: I don't have to add a chainsaw to my angel's hand because that would be trendy and I don't have to turn her to a cliche, big breasted, ugly botox chick as some "professional" wanted to change her already in the past, because they believe artificially patched woman are much more desirable, lovable and beautiful, but foremost, a product will be better because of it. Hint; no, it won't be better.)
#2 - If something goes wrong, I can blame only myself as I can take responsibility for my own failure. Publishers are corporations and corporations are rarely, but usually never take responsibility for anything.
#3 - With self publishing not I'll be the one who will get the smallest percentage, while everyone else, from publisher through distributors, to the last agent, are going to fill their pocket from my work (As right now, the royalty is almost equal with the agent's royalty and from the listed people above none of them actually worked on anything, yet they're demanding huge percentages for the big nothing.).
#4 - I can release the work on an exact day and I don't have to wait for a year or two to see my work published in few hundred pieces.
#5 - I don't have time to play with agents and their little snobbish, "we may respond to you if we're in the mood, but as we're the gatekeepers, please, beg us." games. Well, I won't beg to anyone. I never did and I never will.
#6 - As I work on a trilogy, I don't have to listen the "You must sell X pieces or you must rewrite everything as we tell you or Vol 2 never will be published".
#7 - The marketing is all on me and I don't have to afraid that some "visionary" marketing guy who was taken into his position by mommy or daddy is going to ruin something.
#8 - I don't have to afraid that a publisher is buying the rights just to sink it in a drawer, to never release it.
#9 - I have the last word in the cover art and the illustrations. As a graphic artist (my second profession), I don't like when some "visionary" is trying to redesign something, because he feels the urge to know something better.
#10 - I keep all the rights.

It seems that it is easy enough to self publish a novel for the digital market.

I looked after it and yes, it seems easy enough. The marketing is presumably the hardest thing, but that can be solved. You must use max two-three formats (mobi, PDF, EPub) and you can distribute your work at several places (Kindle, iBookStore, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Lulu and Tesco EBooks).
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Re: Barry Eisler rejects huge contract!

Postby Preacher » 01 Apr 2011, 05:23

Barry cited most of the same points during his interview and it seems very possible that self e-publishing could be the wave of the future. My one concern is how it might go for a first time, previously unpublished writer. The marketing could be a bit of a problem. Without a publishing house behind you no one will know who you are. If you are already published it becomes much easier to market your changes from traditional publishing. You need to get your name out there and i just wonder if it can work doing e-publishing. I read about it and the thought excites me.
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Re: Barry Eisler rejects huge contract!

Postby Guardian » 01 Apr 2011, 10:38

The marketing could be a bit of a problem. Without a publishing house behind you no one will know who you are. If you are already published it becomes much easier to market your changes from traditional publishing.

In a world where you can sell a ropeless jump rope, marketing is not a real challenge. I did marketing for few years, I also was a marketing manager for a time, but it's not that hard at all. The essence is; don't create a myth around marketing, because there is no true myth in it. Many are saying marketing is hard, because you don't have someone behind you. Actually in the electronic world, you can do marketing without them (They just don't want you to know about this, otherwise everyone would realize that large publishers are useless in every possible sector if we're speaking about electronic distribution.). Another mistake what in many believes that if a publisher logo is on your product, that's an advantage. Actually #1; no one really cares about who the publisher is. #2; it's rather a disadvantage if they do (i.e. in the gaming industry, EA and Activision is the sign of mass quantity production. In the movie industry all the Hollywood studios are a bad omen as you know there will be no story behind any of their products, just VFX and booms.). The book industry is no different. If you ask anyone who published the last book what they've read, they don't have a clue. Why? Because they don't care about it. If they do, presumably they'll have a negative comment for it. Now, if you want to publish an eproduct, you must the draw attention to it (A website is very useful for it. Forum activity is also very useful.). It's not a hocus pocus and it's a valid option.

Also consider the following; when you check Amazon for a book, how many times you ever checked it was a self published work or it was released by a publisher? If I must guess, it was zero times. It's a marketing tool that publishers are telling to everyone that people cares who is releasing something. But that's not true as people never check who is released the actual product (With the exception if it wasn't advertised on that way, such as games and movies.). But where you have a static product, a book, as a customer you don't give a damn who released the actual ebook.

My one concern is how it might go for a first time, previously unpublished writer.

Simple. They don't have to know you're unpublished and you must balance this with a quality product. If the product is quality, no one is going to care who you're. The general problem is, that people in the present are trying to sell themselves, while they should sell a product instead. If the product is good, it's capable to defend itself and defend you and it's also capable to sell you and itself. But if you want to sell yourself, while the work sucks, regardless you have a name or you don't have, you won't go anywhere (Or you may go for a short time before a nice fall.).
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