Exclusive print-on-demand publishers are knocking traditional books off the bestsellers list and paying authors three times as much money per sale.
Robber baron publishing is toppling, and the only things propping it up are myths-- misconceptions that authors themselves cling to. Let's kick out each of these myths in short order, and watch the robber barons fall.
Big New York publishers will give me an advance!
Your advance is a LOAN with your career as collateral. If borrowing money from your credit card at 8% interest to support your writing is a bad idea, than borrowing money from a big New York publisher against books you haven't sold yet is a catastrophic idea. Bankruptcy ends after 7 years. The Red Mark next to your name is forever.
Big New York publishers will get me publicity!
If you can't pay for your own publicity, why would you let your publisher borrow profits from books you haven't sold yet to make spending decisions over which you have no control? It works for the robber barons to pay extravagantly for ten long-shots if one book pays off extravagantly. It is catastrophic for you to be one of the nine long-shots they waste money on.
But I can't publicize my book by myself!
Your greatest publicist is a reader who recommends your book to her friends. Books sell by one means: word-of-mouth, which is driven by one engine: a contagious story. Don't let your publicist take money or credit for book sales driven by your great writing.
Big New York publishers will pay for a book tour!
Each hardcover book sale almost earns the author enough to buy a small espresso. How many small espressos does it take to pay back airfare, hotels, food, and limos? All those costs will be figured into the Big Book of Profit and Loss, which publishers will peruse to see if your book came out in the black or the red. If your second book came out in the red, your third book will never be read, because Big Publishers will not let it through their vaunted gates. Saint Peter has got nothing on Saint Martins.
Big New York publishers will get me book store placement!
Book store placement, for most authors, lasts anywhere from zero days to three months. If your book is not a vigorous seller in the first few weeks, it vanishes from the book store, and you're right back in the position of a POD author selling on amazon. Two-thirds of your profit is a lot to give up for a visible inch-wide spine among hundreds of thousands of spines in a bookstore.
Big New York publishers have the clout to get me reviewed!
They have the clout to get less than 10% of their books reviewed. Numina Press, a print-on-demand publisher, has published two living established authors so far, and both have received positive reviews.
Big New York publishers will get my sales counted for a chance at the bestsellers list!
Kemble Scott's second novel, The Sower, just came out with an exclusive print-on-demand press, and it's debuting at # 5 on the bestseller list tomorrow.
But if I accept triple money with that exclusive print-on-demand publisher, big New York publishers will punish me!
Big New York publishers already punish you. What else are they gonna do? Stop publicizing your book? Drop your royalty from an almost small espresso to a half espresso? What are authors afraid major New York publishers will take away? The prestige of being associated with them?
Hey, I get to raise my nose at parties and say "Saint Martins" and "Harper Collins" too. That and a cup of coffee will almost buy me two cups of coffee. By the 100th time I snootily say my publishers' name, I start to realize somebody is a sucker in this you-take-the- prestige-we'll-take-the-money deal, and it ain't the publisher.
Nothing will wake you up from Big Publishing Myths like success in Big Publishing. I wrote a smash bestseller in fiction which was optioned by Warner Brothers, and my bestseller in nonfiction has been translated into 18 languages.
This time I want to get paid.