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Interesting. Actually for me, the decision was really tough, and there is still a lingering sense that maybe I put out something before I was good enough because a publisher didn't stamp it with their seal of approval. The decision though came, for me, as the result of seeing that the two largest book distributors on the planet (Amazon and B&N) have invested so heavily in proprietary P.O.D imprints as well as new technology (Nook and Kindle) that lightens the overhead costs associated with warehousing books and shipping them. The Nook and the Kindle address every single real debate given by those wary of e-books who purport to love books...and the reality of business is that the publishers work on VERY small margins. Amazon and Barnes and Noble need only get e-books to a point of eating about 15% of the total market and that is the ballgame. The publishers won't be able to survive. To me, traditional publishing has become like investing in payphones after cell phones went global. You can still find a few out there, but they are relics of what once was, not a vibrant and valuable industry. Furthermore, with a traditional publisher, my backlist is locked up by their rights to it, whereas with self-publishing print on demand, there is no such thing as a backlist. I have a product I can sell until the day I die, whether that is 1 year from now or 1000 years from now. There are some hurdles yet to overcome, but I am working on them. For example, I am having to reload Bonfire Stories into the system because I found typos after the fact. That is a problem which would not have likely occurred through a traditional publisher, because they could afford both a content editor and a line editor. In any case, the world of publishing is changing and by the time a book I sell today through traditional means hits shelves, there is a very real risk that the company footing the bill will go under and I will be right back in the position of looking for someone to publish it. Publishing traditionally is good for the ego, but it's just not good business anymore
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May 24, 2010