I’d like to think I am ahead of the trends, but on this one maybe I’m not: I have a new book coming out in January, and I will be self-publishing it. I’m on my own – and I like it so far.
This book is titled Economorphics: The Trends Changing Today into Tomorrow, and it will be my third. Thefirst two were put out by ‘real’ publishing companies, and it was an okay process. They had editors, they had distribution, they had tables where I sat for meetings and felt excited to be part of a new project. I didn’t stomp away saying I hated everything about those companies, and if one were to wave an offer in my face today, I’d probably consider it. But it is unlikely that one will, not without a whole lot of effort on my part, effort that I could better use just writing and marketing a book.
The first publishing company I used is long gone. In fact, they were real trend-setters, going out of business nearly ten years ago, before it was fashionable for publishing companies to do so. They second still exists, but their presence has been scaled back a lot. I haven’t pitched them anything in years, but I can imagine they would be very, very, very careful about saying yes to anything that wasn’t a guaranteed get-rich-quick book or a tell-all by a Real-Housewife-of-Someplace.
And that’s what surprised by so much during my last book publishing experience: just how weirdly risk-averse the companies were. And I am talking about something that happened seven or eight years ago, before the industry really got slammed. Yes, I got a contract but not before detailing just exactly how I was going to market the book, providing a list of everyone I knew in the media who might interview me, and pretty much providing a list of everyone I knew who might buy it. Earlier in my career I worked in banking, and had the opportunity to work in an actual Risk Management division for a very large financial institution. Believe me, the bankers had nothing on the publishing companies when it came to risk aversion.
And so I decided not to pitch anything for a while, and see what happened. Luckily for me, what happened is that the industry changed some more and now someone like me can write a book and publish it all by myself. There are great people (let loose from publishing companies) available to help with editing and distribution and marketing, and lots of resources to get books online. And I like managing projects so don’t mind being at the helm of this one.
So wait for it – Economorphics comes out in January 2014, and I expect to learn a lot between now and then as I figure out how to be both author and publisher.