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Will self-publishing take over?

Digital Book World was this week in New York. I’m sure a number of you attended, and likely even more of you caught wind of everything that was going on via Twitter – which was exploding.

One hot topic that really caught my attention, and everyone else’s it seems, was self-publishing. And that fact that a lot of people “in the know” are now expecting a boom.

Naturally I’m hesitant to jump on board, mainly, as you can imagine, because we’re up to our eyeballs every single day in requests and pitches from authors and representatives.

But there are literally millions of writers out there, and I’ll be the first to admit we just don’t have the time (and the suits don’t see the dollar signs) for most of them.

And throwing an even bigger wrench in the mix, people like Guy Kawasaki, bestselling author and venture capitalist, are self-publishing. WTF.

According to a piece on Digital Book World’s site, “a third of traditionally published authors are interested in self-publishing their next book.” And according to a survey they conducted with Writer’s Digest, “authors had relatively negative opinions about publishing companies — that they keep too much money, don’t “get” digital and, generally, don’t add much to their publishing process.”

This is not a shock to me. I haven’t been shy about the fact that those who call the shots in traditional publishing are still making decisions with archaic egos. Even if you get picked up by a traditional publisher these days, it doesn’t mean you’re one of the chosen, yes, you get to “borrow” the name, but more often than not your title will just be another cog in the machine.

But the name – no one can deny – is BIG. Technology still hasn’t done away with the fact that it’s still “who you know”.

So I just sat there nodding my head reading this next part – “when offered the opportunity to publish traditionally, nearly three-quarters of hybrid authors (authors who have both self-published and traditionally published) are interested…about two-thirds of self-published authors are interested…92% of traditionally published authors are interested.”

It’s the dream. To say, “I’m with Random House,” is something (almost) every author dreamed about when they first started writing. And dreams are hard to shake. I know from experience.

And I know I’m not the only one who can’t wait to see how 2013 plays out.