Why Self-Publish When You Have a Chance to Go Traditional? (AKA Emperor’s Edge to Stay Indie)

This post, by Lindsay Buroker, originally appeared on her site on 12/3/12.

A couple of weeks ago, in my Stay Independent or Sign with a Publisher post, I mentioned that I’d had an offer for publication on my Emperor’s Edge books. An awesome editor (awesome because she liked my books, of course ;) ) over at Amazon was interested in adding the entire series to their new 47North science fiction/fantasy/horror imprint.

As you might guess, this was a pretty cool moment. I never queried agents or pursued the traditional route (that takes so long!), but I’d always had it in the back of my head that maybe someday, if I did well enough self-publishing, I could get a “real” publisher. I wasn’t expecting an offer to come my way this soon though. My books sell decently, and my author income grew larger than my day-job income for the first time in November, but I’ve never been below 1,000 on the Amazon Best Sellers ranking, nor have I been at the top of a Top 100 category. In other words, I wasn’t expecting anyone to hunt me down and offer to publish my books. A year ago, I probably would have jumped at the opportunity, and I’ve since heard from quite a few other independent authors who said they would have too.

I ultimately decided to pass on the offer though. Here are some of the major reasons:

Being published by Amazon would have meant my to-be-written fifth and sixth ebooks in the series wouldn’t have been available in other stores, so my Smashwords/Nook/iTunes/etc. readers would have been left hanging. And, uh, I probably shouldn’t ‘fess up to this in advance, but Book 4 has a cliffhanger ending, so leaving people hanging would be mean. Yes, there are free Kindle apps for just about everything (I use one on my iPad), but not everyone wants to buy from Amazon. And for some international folks it’s cost prohibitive. (In a post I did on 99-cent steampunk ebooks, a reader from Denmark pointed out that he had to pay almost $3.50 for a “99-cent ebook” at Amazon).


Read the rest of the post on Lindsay Buroker’s site.