This is a really great breakdown of ebook sales and rankings. It’s unclear whether Tony’s book could have/should have been self-published, because the only way he was able to report it in the first place was by receiving an advance from a publisher. Publishers, like VCs, take bets on talent, and they help alleviate financial risk for the creator. That’s why self-publishing (while ideal!) won’t always work for those who need upfront cash to realize their vision.
Last Friday we were treated to a story from the Op-Ed pages of the New York Times, where Tony Horwitz claimed “I Was A Digital Bestseller” then complained about how little money this made him, and how he would now stick with traditional, print publishers as a result.
Then this Op-Ed was held up – in outlets like Gawker – as another example of how writers have it so tough in this scary new digital world which is going to lead us all into penury.
Just like the story I wrote in January – Fake Controversy Alert: Hitler’s Mein Kampf Was Not A Digital Bestseller – the key “fact” in Horwitz’s tale of woe doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.
Can you guess what it is?
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