Brian McClellan vs Self Pub


Well-Known Member
Jul 24, 2008
I read this Brian McClellan and thought some of you might like to read it.

I think the fact is, either way can be lucrative. Most of us will not be lucky enough to have a large backing like Orbit, and those of us that do self-pub, will not be lucky enough to sell thousands and make a living. I think it's all perspective. I guess the question is, would Brian McClellan have sold as many books if he did self-publish without the marketing dollars? I read his debut and really liked it. I have his second hardcover in my TBR pile so he is doing something right.


Brian G Turner

Fantasist & Futurist
Staff member
Nov 23, 2002
Brian makes some good points about investment. While he talks about production costs, it's worth noting that Orbit did really push the boat out on advertising for him as well.


Dec 10, 2012
x² + y² = r²:when x~∞
From a buyers point of view I can see how this is working out and I think that it will be a while before it gets resolved because the real issue[as I see it] doesn't seem to be the issue being addressed.

Traditional publishers are working an old model. That's not to say it's a bad model because it has worked for ages now. But the e-books and the self publishing have accelerated a change that could actually hurt the reader more than anything else. It could also hurt the publisher and being aware of that I believe they are trying to adjust, but it's clearly not going to be easy.

Not everyone has embraced e-books universally and even those who have still love the feel of a real book and that's what publishers want to give readers. I've recently gone to at least 80% e-books but that's because I read a lot of self published authors and its more convenient for me to read them that way and most fall in my rule I use as a reader. I buy anything thats typically between 3 dollars and 7 dollars on ebook. Any e-book above that is usually a traditional author and at that point I'm more likely to add the few dollars to have the paper copy in my hand.

This still works great for traditional publishing. And traditional publishers tend to have higher priced e-books and I think in part that is because they still are funding the old way of things so if they were to undercut the price of the e-books it could cut into their bread and butter and they would have to make dramatic changes that would cost the reader who wants hard copies much more money.

If they undercut the e-book price they would have to reduce the hard copy production to minimize cost and that would likely look like POD and I'll tell you right now POD creates higher costs and higher prices which the consumer doesn't want.

The current model does create a disparity in the pricing of e-books that skews consumer viewpoint that is another issue entirely. Amazon's attempt to lower the price of e-books would work well for them because they have a large share of e-book business and e-reader business. They do seem to be unsympathetic to what this could do to traditional publishing.

As a consumer I would like to see things slow down so that Traditional publishing has a chance to settle into the new model and I think that's what they want to do in the long run.

As a self publisher I think that some people need to discover that there is an alternative called Smashwords.