Happy Monday, everyone!
I'm not sure if it's just because I haven't had a chance to scour the internet, but I haven't seen much discussion over JK Rowling's announcement that she'll be releasing the eBook versions of her Harry Potter books on her own website Pottermore.
What do you all think?
As I read through an article on wired.com (that, incidentally compared Rowling to Radiohead, the best band in the world), two thoughts came to my mind. First, I wondered how she had the foresight so many years ago to keep the digital rights for her books. Was that just a bit of luck? Second, I thought how fortunate she is that she gets to "self-publish" in such a majestic way. One of the things--probably the only thing I regret about self-publishing so far--is the fact that I would have liked to have a matte cover for the book. I wish I had the ability to make the print version exactly how I would have wanted it if I had more money and more popularity. It's so cool that Rowling has the resources to produce a wonderful interactive website and probably format the books beautifully. She has the publishing control that I would have liked myself.
The more I think about the choice to self-publish versus publishing through a small press or a big press, the more I see it personally as a choice between control and visibility. I have really liked the opportunity to design my own cover for Wild Grass. I've liked the choice of which stories to include in the book and in which order. I haven't liked trying to get the book into the public eye. Having to talk about it always makes me feel a bit phony, even when I'm not being phony. What I think is wonderful about Rowling and several other writers is that they have people coming to them, asking for their work. I think being in that position gives you a lot more artistic freedom.
Note added later: I see now that Rowling is getting help on the eBooks, so it's not exactly self-publishing.