A few months ago, Lindsay Buroker was offered a publishing contract with an Amazon imprint, and she turned it down in favor of continuing to self publish. And I really liked her thought process, because she was very logical and methodical, giving a lot of thought to what she was doing now, how she felt about it, and whether or not she'd be able to keep doing what was working for her if she got a contract. She wasn't impulsive or irrational or all "zOMG! It's Amazon! I'll sign whatever they give me without even thinking about it!" She took a long look at her situation, she thought hard about it, and she did what was appropriate for her.
And I thought about blogging about that, but then I thought, well, everyone knows I'm favor of self-publishing, it will just look like I'm congratulating someone for making a decision I agree with, as opposed to liking the thought process behind that decision.
Today, however, PV posted something about Amanda Hocking that raised the question of whether or not Hocking was happy with her experience with a traditional publisher. And Hocking dropped by to clarify that, yes, she's quite happy.
But unlike some people who seem to think that they (and all writers) are indistinguishable from their publisher, she notes that 1. she's still making good money self-publishing, so she can tell her publisher to piss off whenever she pleases, 2. her publisher is going to treat her very well because it's going to be a public-relations disaster if they don't. It's what impressed me when she first made the decision to sign with a publisher--she's very clear-eyed (I'll make less money, but I'll reach a bigger audience; there's risk, but it's manageable) and hard-nosed (I'll still have the revenue stream from self-publishing), which is what she needs to be.
And you know, once again, I'm liking the thought process. For starters, there is one--it's not this automatic assumption that she can't write a good book without a publisher or that she needs a publisher to take care of her or that This Is Just How It Is Done and You Don't Even Need To Think About It.
Just like Buroker, Hocking took a long look at her situation, thought hard about it, and did what was appropriate for her. And even though the two of them came to completely different conclusions, I can't argue with either one, because each of them did what was right for her--and neither thinks someone else is going to take care of them.