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How To Turn Down A half A Million?

NGC 6914 Nebulae is located over 6,000 light years away. Credit: Descubre Foundation, CAHA, OAUV, DSA, Vicent Peris (OAUV), Jack Harvey (SSRO), Juan Conejero (PixInsight)

NGC 6914 Nebulae is located over 6,000 light years away. Credit: Descubre Foundation, CAHA, OAUV, DSA, Vicent Peris (OAUV), Jack Harvey (SSRO), Juan Conejero (PixInsight)

The easiest way to turn down a 1/2 million dollars is just say no. Even Nancy Reagan knows that. However, in order to turn down this much money, it is necessary to be offered such an amount. Unfortunately or perhaps fortunately, few of us are ever faced with such a dilemma. However, for anyone that follows events in the e-world, they are probably aware that one established author by the name of Barry Eisler has done just that. He has turned down an advance from an established paper publisher ( sometimes referred to as legacy publishers) and decided to pursue the self-publishing option via Amazon and other e-book publishers. More than anything else this is a definite sign the “The Times They Are A Changing“.

I’m sure this story is big news all over the internet, but for an in-depth and lengthy look at the changing publishing scene, you might want to visit a long interview that Joe Konrath did with Mr. Eisler. Though filled with many positive references to mainstream publishes, this is a good peak at how e-book publishing can work for some authors. Also check out Eisler’s editorial at Huffington Post entitled, “Paper Earthworks and Digital Tides“.  One thing for sure, is that Barry Eisler definitely has a way with words.

Following are a few of my favorite snippets from the interview.

“No question: there’s a revolution going on here. In fact, there are parallels between what we’re seeing in the publishing industry and what you see in social revolutions–the kinds with pitchforks and torches.”

I don’t think it’s a secret that the publisher was St. Martin’s Press. And my demurral had nothing to do with SMP specifically–in fact, I think they’re terrific people, and if I’d worked with them earlier in my career, I would have been much better off. Also, I had comparable offers from other publishers and thought the SMP people were the smartest and most impressive of the bunch.”

“Now, in fairness, there are authors whose publishers have done everything right–and good for them. But it’s a question of probabilities, based on empirical evidence.”

“To turn a manuscript into an actual book and get it into the hands of a reader, we still need an editor, line editor, copyeditor, proofreader, jacket copy writer, bio writer, cover art designer, and digital formatter. Plus there are various marketing and sales elements, too. You manage all these functions yourself, and this is one way in which I’d argue that you really are, if not exceptional, then at least unusual.”

One Response to “How To Turn Down A half A Million?”

  1. I am pretty sure this subject was presented on CNN

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