Archive for the ‘Self-Publishing’ Category

Famous Authors Who Self-Published

I think it’s instructive to realize that self-publishing isn’t really a new and different approach. Instead, it’s the way that many authors chose to get their words to market. Some of those authors sank, and some swam. Here are a few you’ll probably recognize.

William Blake
Ken Blanchard
Robert Bly
Lord Byron
Willa Cather
Pat Conroy
Stephen Crane
e.e. cummings
W.E.B. DuBois
Alexander Dumas
T.S. Eliot
Benjamin Franklin
Zane Grey
Thomas Hardy
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Ernest Hemingway
Robinson Jeffers
Stephen King
Rudyard Kipling
Louis L’Amour
D.H. Lawrence
Rod McKuen
John Muir
Anais Nin
Thomas Paine
Tom Peters
Edgar Allen Poe
Alexander Pope
Beatrix Potter
Ezra Pound
Marcel Proust
Irma Rombauer
Carl Sandburg
George Bernard Shaw
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Upton Sinclair
Gertrude Stein
William Strunk
Alfred Lord Tennyson
Henry David Thoreau
Leo Tolstoy
Mark Twain
Walt Whitman
Virginia Woolf

Do you have an addition? Add it in the comments below, and I’ll edit the post to make the list more complete. If possible, please cite a reliable source for your information.

Good for You, Seth Godin

Linchpin: Are You Indispensable by Seth GodinIn his current blog post, Moving On, author Seth Godin announced that Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? will be the last book he publishes in a traditional way.

Good for him. He’s experienced success in the traditional world and he understands what’s possible. He states, “…my mission is to figure out who the audience is, and take them where they want and need to go, in whatever format works, even if it’s not a traditionally published book.”

I’ve long believed that people who have something important to say and a defined audience to speak to are best served by maintaining control of their intellectual property and choosing the most effective means of distribution. For many authors, there remains the longing for a traditional stamp of approval, but the fact is, readers buy content and the Internet has leveled the playing field in a way that allows authors to reach a target audience as never before.

The twenty-first century stamp of approval is the consumer’s dollar, rather than a publishing house’s approval. This is a power shift that leaves authors in a far better place as long as they’re willing to adapt to the new reality and learn what they need to know. As I’ve written in previous musings on the subject, I believe it’s easier for non-traditionally-published non-fiction to find an audience than for fiction, but even that is changing.

When someone as pivotal as Seth Godin steps away from traditional publishing, it’s clear that the market has spoken.

And now, I’m going to read Linchpin.