I am one of those people who does not tolerate conflict with much grace. I dread the tension that a conflict causes. Sometimes, however, conflict is necessary for conversation and debate. This conflict is worth your time. Feel free to skip whatever you like between here and the bold print below.
Recent debate on self/indie vs traditional publishing may have ruffled a few feathers, but it is important (and far more civilized than I expected). First, JA Konrath and Steve Zacharius (Kensington) had an exchange on Konrath’s blog (warning, it’s long and so are the comments). Then the conversation picked up at Jim Hines’ Blog The Passive Voice in the comments of The Gospels of Publishing. One of the topics was transparency in earnings and sales. A few days later, a partial answer came in the form of sales/income data from authorearnings.com. Incidentally, both Konrath and Hines have several posts on the topic (as do other authors and pub professionals).
If you’ve read them, good. If you haven’t, consider it. I’m not worried about what you think of them. I strongly feel we should all be as informed as possible.
Whether you like or dislike either side, it is in your best interest to stay informed. This is your publishing career and you are at the wheel. Even here at The Sarcastic Muse, we each of us have distinct opinions and desires for our works. This is perfectly acceptable and we don’t judge each other. Also, technology changes quickly, so last year’s news is not sufficient today. I encourage anyone considering publication to keep up on the facts, debates, and news. Much information is still unknown, but as more of it comes to light, writers can become better-informed authors.
Keep in mind Kontrath’s tone is part passion and part persona. Ignore the snark if it bothers you. (or go read Barry Eisler) Pay attention to his questions as well as those of Zacharius. Same with Hines or any other blogger. Then look at the sales and earnings report. Lots of graphs help, but remember the data is fresh and still only a partial window into the topic.
Once you have new information, consider your stories and your lifestyle. Make the best, informed, deliberate publishing choice for YOU. In other words, don’t follow the crowd or work with old information. Do your homework and make a deliberate choice.
Understand there are huge commitments with any publishing path (and be prepared to do most/all of the marketing whatever you choose). And remember, you don’t need to justify your choice to anyone but yourself. Just make good decisions for your career based on the most complete information you can find.