3 Underlying Truths for Artists in the Digital Age

As a writer, I opened Rachelle Gardner‘s “How Do I Decide? Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing” extremely curious. Rachelle has a ton of experience working with authors as a literary agent, and from her blog I know her to be an especially level-headed and knowledgeable voice when it comes to the future of publishing.

She absolutely did not disappoint.

For the non-writing creatives out there: In publishing, the traditional model is at a crossroads, and self-publishing has been losing a lot of its old stigma. And thus we come to the question at the heart of “How Do I Decide?”: which publishing model is right for you?

But beyond publishing, the very premise of  “How Do I Decide?” is an intriguing one, with underlying principles that are true for all creatives in the digital age:

  1. The digital age is changing everything about how we share our art.
  2. There are more options than ever before.
  3. Some of these options are a good fit for you. Some of them are not. 

These truths can be both exciting and challenging, even overwhelming. Regardless, it’s just part of being sharing your creative work in the digital world. Along with the freedom to shape your own path to market your work in the way best suited to you comes the struggle to establish your platform and choose wisely from among endless options.

In the book, Rachelle offers an unbiased and knowledgeable assessment of each publishing model’s pros and cons, offers checklists to identify where you fit best, and shares testimonials from authors who have chosen each model, sharing why they chose it and how the experience went for them. It’s more than worth the $3.99.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a member of the promotion team for this book.

2 thoughts on “3 Underlying Truths for Artists in the Digital Age

  1. Emily, it seems to me there’s not much more time to choose. I think the market is making the choice for us and it’s self-publishing. The big publishing houses are fighting a Justice Department suit over their pricing policies while they have lost one of their main places to sell their products (Borders) and the other one (Barnes & Noble) looks shakier all the time. I believe that the price advantage of e-books will make printed books like vinyl records in a few years: still around but collected by only a few.

    • That’s an interesting perspective, Louis. Thanks for sharing. Maybe I’m being optimistic, but my gut is that content overload is eventually going to lead to content burnout in readers, and filters (including publishers and reviewers) will swing back to a renewed position of strength as things balance back out. BUT, they’re going to have to change a lot to meet the needs of a digital world first.

      But I think your comparison of print books to vinyl records is spot on, and it’s one I really enjoy. I can see a world where most things are digital, but avid readers cherish print copies of their most favorite books/authors and getting them signed as special memoribilia, etc.

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