Mike Shatzkin, who’s always an interesting (if dense) read about publishing’s inside baseball, breaks down the myths of self-publishing. He’s particularly talking about Hugh Howey, but it’s relevant to anyone who’s considering getting into the game, because the Howey-era myths are still so prevalent.
I got asked recently, I’m pretty sure it was at Conflux, about self-publishing, and specifically about the idea that if you get “big” in the self-published world, it’s a jump-start ticket into the tradpub world.
While this might have been (briefly) true several years back, it was mostly other editors and agents attempting to duplicate the success of Howey and, more importantly, his agent, Kristin Nelson.1 For the most part unsuccessfully, I might add.
Nowadays, because of that “un-success”, the selfpub-tradpub jumpship has left the dock and is already halfway across the galaxy; there’s no catching up to it if you’re starting now. There’ll be something different, yes. But not this.
In the meantime, keep writing.