Say what you will about Joe Konrath (and I certainly have). Bombastic, self-aggrandizing, relentlessly abrasive, triumphalist one-true-wayist guru of self-publishing, his style grates on many. And yet, to be scrupulously fair, he isn’t often wrong. He was an early adopter of the Insurgent Creative model, a C-lister who took his rights-reverted published novels and self-published, along with other rejected manuscripts, and has made a shedload of money as a result. He is open with his numbers (screen caps of Amazon earnings reports), and, if you can wade through the bullshit posturing, a lot of his advice is solid.
His latest effort, though, is a real eye-opener.
Here’s the skinny: A traditionally-published author posted openly about what she’s been paid. She then took it down, because it was a violation of her contract’s non-disclosure clause. Lexi Revellian blogged about it, complete with a captured grab of the original post, and then that blog entry was mentioned on The Passive Voice blog (which if you aren’t regularly reading, you should be).
In the comments of the The Passive Voice post, Steve Zacharius, the CEO of Kensington Publishing (the largest of the independent publishers outside of the Big 6, or 5, or whatever the hell they are now), responded to several comments (which is, itself, kind of unbelievable).
So, Konrath decided to use his blog to respond to Zacharius’ comments, point for point.
…and that’s when it took off. Steve Zacharius responded via email (and gave Konrath permission to put his answers on the blog). So Konrath updated the blog post with the new responses.
Zacharius responded again. And again. To date, there have been 4 rounds of back-and-forth between Konrath and Zacharius, becoming a HUGE conversation between self-publishing and traditional New-York-based legacy publishing. And some of what Zacharius says is a real eye-opener for any writer weighing the options of shooting for a traditional publishing contract, or life as an Insurgent Creative.
Read here — it’s going to take a while, but it’s worth every minute: “Questions From Steve Zacharius, CEO and President of Kensington”