Thursday, April 19, 2012

MFA Greensboro Alum Steve Almond Discusses the Downside to DIY Publishing

The Downside to DIY Publishing
     by Steve Almond
Steve AlmondFor those of you curious about the world of do-it-yourself publishing, here are a few (humorous) questions you might want to ask yourself before you decide, as I did, to publish your own books.
1. Do I mind feeling like a drug dealer?

Back in the old days, when a corporation published my books, there was a whole retail apparatus in place to handle sales.
These days it’s … me.
I show up with my sack of books and people huddle around and slip me dirty fives and tens and I slip them their product. No register. No credit card machine. No receipt.
Because I lack basic organizational skills, as well as common sense, the cash piles up next to me. And because I encourage potential buyers to “sample my stuff,” I’m constantly paranoid someone’s ripping me off.
On the bright side: I’m occasionally able to come home and “make it rain” for my wife.
2. Am I cool with barter?

Nobody would think to offer, say, a box of chicken nuggets in exchange for a book at Barnes & Noble. And yet I am offered noncash items for my self-published books all the time.

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