Adrian Zackheim on the Perils of Self-Publishing

adrian zackheim e1312414780276 Adrian Zackheim on the Perils of Self Publishing


Adrian Zackheim is the publisher of Portfolio, Penguin’s business book imprint, as well as Sentinel, its dedicated conservative imprint. We assume that it’s because many self-published authors tend to consider themselves businesspeople that Mr. Zackheim has now put out a blog post to tell them why it might not be worth it, from one businessman to another. He writes:

Despite the hype, the fundamental rules of publishing have not really changed very much. Now, as before, the greatest challenge facing a new writer is to find readers, not to finish and print a book. If anything, self-publishing has made the shelves, both virtual and physical, even more crowded. The obstacles to being noticed are even more forbidding, not less. In a world where anyone can upload a Word doc and call it a book, it’s more valuable than ever to have experts curate the works that are really worthy of a reader’s attention.

It might only strengthen his argument to mention that two of the self-published writers he cites as examples (namely J.A. Konrath and Barry Eisler) both of them vocal proponents of self-publishing, have now signed contracts to be published by Amazon Publishing. And since Mr. Zackheim brings up the question of advances, Mr. Eisler told us back in May that he got a decent one from Amazon.