Remember Gizmodo?  They were one of the sites I linked to in my first writerly words a s a great resource for those looking to track with technology.  Today they’ve got a post up looking at the various avenues that a writer has for self publication in the new eBook world.

Now, before getting too in depth, I’m going to come down firmly on the side of traditional publication channels, working through an agent and a publisher.  Self publication still is what it always has been, a way to put stuff out there, but one that requires you to do all your own footwork in terms of advertising.  However, if you have made the decision to self publish then don’t just stick to a print on demand service.  It’s 2010.  Get your book out there for the various eReaders (especially the iPad/Phone/Touch and the Kindle, which combine to absolutely dominate the market).  And use a service.  Just as you don’t want to be on the hook for your own distribution of physical copies, you don’t want to handle distribution of soft copies of your books either, especially when it comes to the collection of money if you have any interest in charging for them.

So the Gizmodo article has three pieces of advice, all of which I readily agree with:

  • Use a distribution service.  I use smashwords, they suggest FastPencil.
  • Publish for every device you can
  • Advertise where you can

It’s still a new world in ePublication, and it may take off that self publication will do big things.  And it’s a new enough market that someone willing to challenge the paradigm may have a lot more success than someone trying to do so through traditional channels.  There are already markets existing within ePublication that don’t really exist in the hard copy word: individual short stories and novellas immediately come to mind.  Sure the former might be picked up by an anthology, but the latter has become an increasingly difficult market to get into as publishers aren’t interested in standalone novellas, and anthologies won’t touch them.

So if you’re willing to experiment, do it.  Just do it smartly.

DL Thurston can be found at Rust is available now for Kindle, ePub readers, and iBooks, coming soon to Sony Reader.

About the author

DLThurston DL Thurston is a writer of novels, screenplays, and the occasional short story. He has short stories due out soon in the Steam Works anthology from Hydra Publications and in The Memory Eater. When he's not writing, he also brews beer and even drinks it sometimes. Check out his exploits either on his blog or on Twitter.