Brian Forte thinks out loud about self publishing

While cruising my regular message boards and mailing lists this morning (a required part of the day for me at the moment!), I came across Brian Forte at Between Borders and his recent article about ebook self publishing. The article doesn’t shed any new light on the subject (for me, at least), but it does summarise links and viewpoints from recent internet discussions (from agent Richard Curtis, self-publisher Joe Konrath, and others). If you’re new to these arguments, Brian’s post is well worth the read.

Also, while you’re at his website, check out his excellent article on pitching. Self publishing is taking hold right now, but there will be opportunities for writers to pitch their work to publishers, magazines, and websites for years to come.


  1. Elfwreck says:

    With self-publishing, there’s more, not less, opportunities for authors to pitch their works. Every blog post, every comment in someone else’s blog, is an opportunity to say “maybe you’d like to read my book [Minimum Overdrive], about [a woman who takes addictive, debilitating drugs that let her read minds].” which doesn’t mean every post/comment should be an advertisement, but the option exists, and the author has to decide whether or not it’s appropriate to mention. Knowing how & when to pitch to the audience is a lot more important if your audience is “everyone you meet online.”

    • Shane Jiraiya Cummings says:

      Hi Elf,

      While I admire and share your optimism (it’s the old customer service adage – ‘every interaction is a potential new sale’), I think there’s a huge difference between cold canvassing random people to get them to read your book vs pitching to editors who, by definition, are at least mildly receptive to receiving pitches for new stories/books/articles/writing of a professional and relevant nature to their operation.

      • Elfwreck says:

        I don’t disagree. I don’t think actively pitching books everywhere online is a good thing, nor that it’s the same as pitching to publishers. It’s in the same category; it’s still “convince potential buyers that your book is interesting, without coming across as overly pushy.” (I’m sure editors have little interest in books attached to cover letters that say, “My book is much better than James Patterson’s recent blockbuster, so you should publish it!”)

        Online forum/blog/other social networking site participants are, by their nature, interested in finding new content to read. They’re nearly universally receptive to “neat stuff over here; click link to see.” Some of them will pay for access to that stuff. Convincing them that your “neat stuff” is (1) more interesting than the conversation at hand and (2) worth paying for, is part of the skill required for the pitch.

        It takes different phrasing than would be used for a pro editor, but the concept is the same: intrigue them without overbearing. And the internet gives plenty of opportunity to hone that skill on different audiences without much risk.

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