In past years the answer to that would have been a resounding NO of course. But things are different these days. Very different.
Take a look here
I spent hours reading the data and then the replies to this article, and it seems as if the real drama is yet to come as publishers try to defend their position. I do think this is essential reading for anyone who wants to make a living from their writing.
Plus it’s great entertainment!
No doubt someone will eventually write a book about it.
Postscript: I’ve just read a response from Mike Shatzkin who says this at the end of his article:
‘Self-publishing is definitely an incredible boon to commercial writers and they should all understand how it works. Increasingly, literary agencies see it as their job to provide that knowledge:
- It is almost certainly a good idea to self-publish for many writers who have reclaimed a backlist that has consumer equity.
- It is a perfectly sensible way to launch a career, either before going after the commercial establishment or as a part of the strategy to engage with them. (Editors in the big houses are well aware of the self-publishing successes; it’s a new farm system.)
- If an author has access to markets, it can be a better way to get short or very timely material to them faster.
But to say it has its advantages and applications is a far cry from saying that it is a preferable path for a large number of authors who could get publishing deals.’