Friday, March 25, 2011

Jumping Ship

For anyone who hasn't heard yet, best-selling author Barry Eisler this week announced his decision to turn down a $500,000 two-book deal from St. Martin's Press in favor of publishing himself. You can check out a very long and entertaining conversation between Eisler and JA Konrath here. Also, a view from the from the traditional publishing side at The Shatzkin Files, and further conversation with Barry Eisler at the Daily Beast.

While this doesn't spell the demise of legacy publishing, it's certainly another indication that traditional publishing companies are no longer the only game in town.


  1. I read an article about this a few days back. What assailed my curiosity was the nature of the comments. They leaped in immediately talking about how stupid this guy was and the services he would be getting from a publisher. These services were mainly legal support and advertising, and I thought 'No publisher would be giving me these things anyway. And this guy's probably too big a name to need them. These are services desirable to an established but not yet famous author.'

    Just my two cents.

  2. Yeah, the thing is if you're going with a small press, or even as a new author with a medium press or big press, you're not getting a hell of a lot anymore. Unless you managed to generate some kind of outlandish buzz, you're a very tiny fish in a very big pond. And if you've got the wherewithal (which I'm sure Eisler has) you can buy those services piecemeal. There really is nothing that a legacy publisher can offer an author that they can't get on their own, unless that author has somehow caught lightning in a bottle anyway.