Creating a publisher

There’s a lot of discussion out right now about indie publishing (self-publishing, e-publishing, POD, etc.). Some old hands are saying that with the current shake-outs in the publishing industry, such as Borders’ bankruptcy and closing of multiple stores, some of the big-name publishers will go bankrupt within the next few years — and these authors are starting to warn others that unless they want their manuscripts tied up in the legal process, they might be better off skipping traditional publishing completely, at the very least until things settle down. (Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s post with warnings; one of Dean Wesley Smith’s posts)

On the flip side, David Farland in his Daily Kick in the Pants warns against self-publishing and suggests only doing it if you can gain traction with samizdat publication; otherwise, he says, you’re shooting yourself in the foot and tarnishing your name for all future use. Larry Brooks, over on StoryFix, had a post recently — “A Self-Publishing Reality Check” — warning of the costs involved as well as the potential for throwing bad stuff up.

The truth is, it doesn’t have to be all one or the other. Yes, a publisher can go bankrupt — but that’s always been true. A fire could break out in their offices and take out all the paper slush that’s been sent to them as well as their computers, too. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t submit. Life is risk.

My (completely far-out-there goal) is to submit to all of the big publishers, so if one or two do go bankrupt and tie up my manuscript, I’m still in the game. I’m also pursuing small press (Moongypsy Press, for example). AND (here we get to the crux of this post) I’m going to be putting some stuff up for sale digitally.

I’ll use different pseudonyms for different series, so if you’ve liked one book or novella in a series, it’s easy for you to find more. Whenever I put a new one up, I’ll post the opening page or two here in my blog, along with purchase links, and I’ll mention it on Facebook and Twitter. That’s going to be the extent of my marketing. It’s an experiment. Both Dean Wesley Smith and Lynn Viehl say the best way of marketing a book is to write the next one. I’d like to see whether that works.

Because I’m using multiple pen names, I’m creating a sole proprietorship publisher, Hartshorn Publishing. I’ll also create a page here for that name, with recent releases and lists of series titles and descriptions.

I don’t expect to have anything up before the end of the month at the earliest, but this is your notice. . . . It’s coming.