Dean Wesley Smith -- a prolific author (widely published, both traditionally and independently) who writes an invaluable blog -- has just posted a brief summary: "The New World of Publishing: Traditional or Indie? What To Do Now." For writers facing the decision as to whether to continue seeking a traditional agent and publisher, or to self-publish, he offers this advice, in a nutshell:
Take everything you can take into your own control and hold on.Read the entire blog for his reasoning and explanations.
What does that mean exactly?
Write like crazy.
Then with what you have finished, spend the next two years indie publishing your own stuff, learning all the tricks of being an indie publisher, and getting your own trade paper books into bookstores.
Then when things settle down in traditional publishing, you will be ready and practiced and have some work to present to traditional publishers.
Not convinced? Then you need to read veteran author David Farland on the basic math of publishing, summarized here by the "Passive Guy." This brief excerpt from David's post about the sobering odds and the financial facts of life in today's publishing world make it clear that to seek a traditional print publisher is an almost sure career-killer for an author.
Meanwhile, another widely published and highly successful author, Bob Mayer, has summarized his own experiences and advice in two valuable publications that every author should peruse. Bob's blog is another don't-miss daily resource.
But if traditional print publishing is heading into a chaotic and uncertain future, how can one take advantage of the emerging opportunities in "indie" or self-publishing? David Gaughran has compiled the experiences of nearly three dozen successful indie authors in his just-released book, Let's Get Digital: How to Self-Publish, and Why You Should. The book is getting advance raves and ought to be a first stop for authors contemplating their publishing options.
Follow those links, Dear Author, and you'll get a crash course in how to survive during the Self-Publishing Revolution.