|I be chewin' it.|
Exposure. If I publish with, again, the lamest, dumbest, most illiterate token-paying magazine, the fact that they are willing to pay me five bucks to use that story for something means they've probably got a readership of more than seven people. That's not only the value of my e-pub right there; that's someone else doing the promotional work. This, for me, is the big fish. I've always felt suspicious of professionals like Dean Wesley Smith and Joe Konrath claiming that the e-reader revolution equalizes the market and makes self-publishing viable; they were already pros. They had publishing houses pushing their work. And I've still never read anything by either of them. So in what kind of stead does that leave the vast majority of us, the vast majority of those who will self-publish, Those-Without-A-Name?
Despite these caveats, I actually suspect that both Dean and Joe and all the other folks are right. The basically zero-overhead business of e-publishing is an opportunity for Any Writer to become A Writer. It's like the difference between the Vikings and the Saxons: the Saxons, bound to their oaths of fealty, fight where their lord pleases. The Vikings ride around in boats and take what they want. In the world of e-publishing there is freedom, there is a fortune, and I suspect there is a future if Any Writer plays his or her cards right (a big "if," mind you). And, eventually, I'll probably jump on the bandwagon.
But alas, alack, there are two more things:
Regardless of the fact that I turn them into Submission Bombs every day and hurl them at professional editors, a lot of my stories don't quite work for me. Self-editing is just as important to the self-publishing process as all the other components: "Send us your best," as the 'zines love to say.
The final word: I'll e-pub... eventually. And, more than likely, I'll mostly confine myself to self-publishing novels (once I've, y'know, written some), again due expressly to the fact I can't imagine an enormous market for short speculative fiction when you can read several great, professional 'zines online for free.