‘Barry Eisler Walks Away From $500,000 Deal to Self-Pub’

In a recent interview, novelist Barry Eisler said he turned down a $500,000 book deal and decided to self-publish his work.

The revelation came in a 13,000-word interview with novelist Joe Konrath. Eisler last published with Ballantine Books, but his self-publishing experiment began with “The Lost Coast,” a $2.99 short story. Konrath quipped: ‘Barry Eisler Walks Away From $500,000 Deal to Self-Pub’ is going to be one for the Twitter Hall of Fame.”

Here’s an excerpt from the interview: “There’s a saying about the railroads: they thought they were in the railroad business, when in fact they were in the transportation business. So when the interstate highway system was built and trucking became an alternative, they were hit hard. Likewise, publishers have naturally conflated the specifics of their business model with the generalities of the industry they’re in. As you say, they’re not in the business of delivering books by paper–they’re in the business of delivering books. And if someone can do the latter faster and cheaper than they can, they’re in trouble.”

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