NPR Interviews Barry Eisler

In case you missed it yesterday (or otherwise don’t listen to NPR), here’s an interview with Barry Eisler: he of the turning-down-a-half-million-dollar-traditional-publishing-advance-to-self-publish fame.

What was interesting to me, about this interview: I didn’t know that after Eisler had announced his intent to self-publish he was actually approached directly by Amazon and offered what he calls a “hybrid deal”.  In this hybrid deal, Amazon has become, in truth, the actual publisher of the book (as well as distributor and retailer) offering marketing support, while still leaving all the book production details (editing, cover art, etc.) to Eisler.

The result?  Amazon gets an exclusive title.

In light of my recent articles about Amazon and the changes in the publishing model… this is definitely something that makes me go “hmm”.

I find it interesting that Eisler is being unashamedly mercenary about this – and I find I respect that.  It suggests to me that he’s doing what he’s doing not out of some anti-traditional-publishing principle, but because he is truly looking for what he believes to be the best deal, financially.  I can’t begrudge someone finding a good deal.  But if he was just carrying some anti-traditional-publishing chip on his shoulder (like some self-publishing authors seem to), I’d probably think a lot less of him for it.