Mike Shatzkin, very trusted source on how new media is affecting old publishing, just alerted us to one zinger of a headline: full-time novelist Barry Eisler has turned down a $500,000 contract from a traditional publisher in order to self-publish. It now makes transparent economic sense for (some) writers to develop their own publishing capacity (see the lengthy but crucial conversation between Eisler and noted self-publishing author Joe Konrath here). As most of us have already known, this development also makes clear that those who produce content (ideas and stories), not those who polish the delivery mechanism, own the true value.

This is all the more true for thought-leading businesses – now is the time to develop your own publishing capacity. The business model of publishing as a separate industry just doesn’t make economic sense for large businesses who have already developed their own niche market through their services and their web presence. The more directly accessible your content is to your tribe, the more they will buy it. (Smaller and/or less known individuals and businesses still benefit greatly from traditional publishing’s reach and expertise because they don’t have it themselves. But with even small effort applied to leveraging new media, this will change sooner than we think.) Very soon there won’t be a large divide between blog posts and books – it will just be one flowing continuum, where people will click on their choice of media – digital or print – to read your content of varying lengths. Those who have their own media arm are well on the way – adding book publishing capacity will only get easier and easier. Why not own that capacity yourself?

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