Over the weekend, several friends sent me news that an independent author selling his book through the Amazon Kindle store had landed a book deal. The message there seemed to be, "Yes, Chris, you can do it on your own if you have a good product and if you're sufficiently motivated." And, therefore, I was encouraged when I read the article. Because, hey, I do have a good product. And I am getting very, very motivated by the success stories I am seeing in other industries.
I also read today an excellent post by my friend Andy Hicks on how Fritz Wetherbee and public television were doing the Nine Inch Nails model of media distribution years before Mr. Reznor himself figured it out: quality stuff for free that, if you like it, will prompt you to support the content producers with your donations.
And, last but not least, I read this article by Chris Brogan on distribution as a key to personal branding. "Distribution's where it's at," Chris writes. "Who gives a crap if you pour all kinds of great intent and messaging into your product if no one knows who you are? Who cares if someone knows who you are, but they can't reach you?"
All of this has me thinking about if and how making books on your own—specifically books of fiction—can be done. And of course I'm still wondering if it should be done, given the bad rap that self-publishing has always received and seems likely to continue receiving for a good, long while (as long as the gatekeepers remain the same, at the very least).
What do you think?