Dean Wesley Smith is one of my favorite bloggers. As another blogger described him, Dean is an ex-midlister who has drunk the self-publishing Koolaid, is happy with his success in multiple worlds, and is happy to share his approach and results with others. He has a couple of blog-based ebooks going, where he writes a chapter at a time and posts it for digestion and comment. Then he cobbles them all together into an actual book. His latest endeavour, the second edition of “Think Like a Publisher”, is being “reposted” with updates in close sequential order. Here are some excerpts from Chapter 1:
Some of the earliest decisions a publisher has to make can be changed down the road easily. Some are difficult to change. So, I’m going to break down some of these early decisions into basic groups. And keep in mind, there are no correct answers on any of these decisions. Just what you want to do.
Get the business set up, do the chores, look at your start-up inventory, and then look hard and fast at what kind of publisher you want to be.See the full post at Dean Wesley Smith » Think Like a Publisher 2012. Chapter 1: The Early Decisions.
As I said, Dean’s one of my favorite bloggers but sometimes I think his approach to publishing is a bit, umm, influenced by his past lives. Almost like he’s willing to go self-publishing, but then tries to pull back in some of the things he misses from the traditional world. For example, near the end of the chapter, he talks about High-End publishers vs. Discount Publishers vs. Traditional Publishers. It’s a useful comparison, and he expands on this in more chapters, but it does heavily lean towards a division based on a “paper-based” view of publishing.
For me, and I am not Dean’s direct target audience, that division is a bit skewed to the paper world, and thinks in “paper” terms. Instead, as an aspiring author, I’m more interested in the author’s perspective of “choosing a publisher” than “becoming a publisher” for others. In this case, I think a more likely perspective for aspiring authors is between “Traditional Publishing” (Large press and small press) or “Self-publishing” (through third parties or as a full-fledged DIYer).
The difference, for me, is that some of the “discount” publisher categories are only applicable if you think of it in paper terms. Someone who publishes ebooks only and sells them at 99 cents is not discounting them if they’ve never sold at a different rate. Nor are they choosing to consign themselves to a bargain bin, one of Dean’s frequent suggestions on his blog.
It’s just a price point, and while I have a bunch of upcoming posts regarding “pricing” paradigms, I will satisfy my urge to be a gadfly towards the “discount” label to say that it is a point of view, but not one I share (nor do much more experienced and famous authors than me like Konrath and Eisler).
Good first chapter, though, and I look forward to the future updates…like all published items, you take from it what you can, and mileage may vary!