Why More Established Authors Are Starting to Self-Publish


David Mamet Beginning to Self-PublishPulitzer Prize-winning playwright and author David Mamet is the latest in a string of established writers who are starting to self-publish, according to this story from The New York Times.

“Basically I am doing this because I am a curmudgeon,” Mamet  is quoted as saying. “and because publishing is like Hollywood — nobody ever does the marketing they promise.”

Lack of marketing follow-through is often cited as the biggest reason established authors are switching from traditional publishing to a self-pub model.

The New York Times article says:

For one thing, as traditional publishers have cut back on marketing, this route allows well-known figures like Mr. Mamet to look after their own publicity.

Then there is the money. While self-published authors get no advance, they typically receive 70 percent of sales. A standard contract with a traditional house gives an author an advance, and only pays royalties — the standard is 25 percent of digital sales and 7 to 12 percent of the list price for bound books — after the advance is earned back in sales.

None of this is news to independent authors, but it is interesting to see how even famous writers are now abandoning traditional publishing in favor of self-publishing solutions.

So, the moral of the story is: if you’re handling most of your book marketing yourself — don’t despair; you’re in the same boat as Pulitzer Prize-winners!

Have you switched from traditional to self-publishing? Why did you switch models? How’s it working for you?

Publish your eBook on Amazon, iBookstore, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and more.

[Image of David Mamet taken by Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com]

Chris Robley
Chris Robley is an award-winning poet, songwriter, performer, and music producer who now lives in Portland, Maine after more than a decade in Portland, Oregon. His music has been praised by NPR, the LA Times, the Boston Globe, and others. Skyscraper Magazine said he is “one of the best short-story musicians to come along in quite some time.” Robley’s poetry has been published or is forthcoming in POETRY, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, Beloit Poetry Journal, RHINO, Magma Poetry, and more. He is the 2013 winner of Boulevard's Poetry Prize for Emerging Writers and the 2014 recipient of a Maine Literary Award in the category of "Short Works Poetry."


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.