Monday, January 28, 2013

Mainstream Authors Self-publishing

The Wall Street Journal has an article today titled "Does an Author Need a Publisher?" here.  The article mostly compares a self-published book, by an established author, with other books on the same subject that have been published by mainstream publishing houses.  My comment:

I am also an author who was first published by Crown Publishing, and now is self-publishing e-books.  I had an excellent editor at Crown, and was very well taken care of.  But the economics of mainstream publishing make it difficult for anyone but a famous author to make a living at it.

E-books can be very profitable for authors.  You can price your book low, and then get a big enough percentage (often seventy percent) of the price so that you’re making more than you made with a ten dollar paperback published by a mainstream publisher.  Plus now your book won’t go out of print.

I’m having so much fun with this!  I’m a fanatic about getting kids reading, and now I can publish books that are as radical as I want.  Or not!  It’s fascinating to think what the effect on current thought and reading habits will be with the new ease of self-publishing.


  1. Self publishing has amazing potential. My wife is a
    university professor and has written 14 books on nursing for major publishers. They charge over $100 per book and she gets less than $10/book for over 2 years of grinding research and writing. The knowledge is with the author's not the publishers! I hope you are successful with your blog!

    Al R

  2. Thanks, Al. Since she now has an established reputation, I bet she could self-publish very successfully. I imagine professors assign her books, so she should still get a steady stream of buyers. Plus she could price her books much lower--which would help students and increase her sales even more. If she published them as e-books she could easily and cheaply update them whenever necessary.

    It's not that expensive to hire someone to put in all her graphics, even in an e-book. In fact, someone good could do it so students could click around on complicated subjects.

    Best to the two of you.