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Readers Debate: “Who Needs You, Big Publishing?”

scott23.jpgLast week we wrote about author Scott Sigler‘s provocative Tools of Change presentation, Who Needs You, Big Publishing?

This week, Sigler (pictured, via Amy Davis Roth) wrote in with additional commentary about how he self-published a science fiction football novel called The Rookie–stressing that his audience building work: “what’s missing from the condensed version of the presentation is the 15 minutes I spent on audience generation and retention (out of a 25-minute presentation). I have given away eight full, unabridged audiobooks, two audio novellas and three audio short story collections. Over 100 hours of story content, all for free, which is where I generated my audience.”

He continued: “Crown Publishing has done great things to help advance my career, but my core audience has been with me longer than I’ve been with Crown. The point of the presentation was that authors who embrace free content can generate an online audience, and maintain a connection with that audience can look to sell books directly from author to end reader.”

Our readers had some passionate responses as well. Read more after the jump.


Pamela12 wrote: “Definitely the future…with authors controlling their own copyrights there’s infinitely more control and no need to work about being “out of print” either. I’m an Indie author (Silent Sorority). Sales are growing month over month based on the many tools now available to reach readers online.”

Drunk Hulk had a different conclusion: “DRUNK HULK AGREE! IT LIKE COOKIE! ONCE YOU RID GIRL SCOUT! ALL COOKIE IS YOURS!”

Bear Mountain Books wrote: “Some authors can probably excel at self-publishing, but others can’t or won’t want to. There are a lot of “chores” that are included in self-publishing, including keeping the backlist out there in front of readers, cover work, artwork, proofing…and some authors will be ready and willing to take that on. Some are even qualified to do so or will learn … There’s always been more than one way to climb a mountain, we’re just seeing a few new, viable trails open up. Some people are going to use those trails to race to the top. Others will prefer the old, comfortable way, and still others will fall off the ledges on the way up.”

Finally, Maggie Stiefvater wrote: “Before before I was able to go full time with my writing (which was POSSIBLE because of big publishing), I was a full-time artist. I loved it. However, it was also a 60 hour a week job because of the marketing, branding, blogging, sales, taxes, gallery trips, as well as the actual art-making. I got to keep all of my earnings, yes — but I was spending the vast majority of my work week on something OTHER than creating art. This model’s been around for a long time with other creative pursuits, but you’ll notice that there are also many, many publishers and print companies around to streamline that part of it and handle the non-creative aspects of making a creative living.”

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