I got called wise!

Tom Simon, who wrote that hilarious history of publishing, quoted me in his blog. It's actually a comment I left at the Passive Voice (of course--well, it makes me feel better about the times I've quoted my own comments from PV).

Anyway, it's pithy, it's what I think, and it impressed Tom, so I'll quote myself again here. This was in response to someone saying that she was getting lots of contrary advice about self-publishing vs. traditional publishing and had no idea what to do.

My attitude is to look at what happens if you make the wrong choice.

If you self-publish and you do something wrong, you can fix it. If the entire self-publishing industry implodes, you still have the rights to your work, so you can still go sell it to a traditional publisher.

If you go traditional and something goes wrong, you are completely screwed. You’ve signed away your rights, you don’t have control over how your work is marketed, etc., etc. If your publisher goes under, it’s going to take a long time and a lot of legal work for you to be able to re-sell that work, assuming you ever can. Is it worth to you to take that kind of risk in return for some editing and cover art?