From Publishing House to Self (Independent) Publishing

I am embarrassed, self-pitying, furious, befuddled. My agent suggests I write a blog. I have nothing to say. Or go the ebook route, maybe with Smashwords , which cost nothing up front? No, I’m hell-bent on having a book I can hold like a baby. I read articles in The New Yorker & The New York Times & Poets & Writers about changes in the digital age. Musicians, writers, filmmakers, artists all, take heed; this is a brave new world and the old rules do not apply. Wake up or sink over the horizon at sunset. Doing-it-yourself, going independent, it’s the new way. And then, In April of 2010, John Edgar Wideman, MacArthur Genius Fellow, a writer I revere, publishes his new short story collection Briefs: Stories for the Palm of the Mind with . Why I am waiting?

Well, for one, because when I Google self-publishing, the first author blog on the subject is “” who says:

Fiction Writers: You’d have to be mad to self-publish fiction…First, agents and publishers will sign you up if your book is good enough. Having self-published 3 titles I know something of the pitfalls…and I don’t want anyone wasting a lot of money on a fruitless endeavor.”

I don’t want to be mad.

But I AM pissed off.