Dave Eggers, the award-winning and best selling novelist of books including “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius” and “Zeitoun” (self-pubbed hardcover), is the poster child for what an indie author can be. And by an indie we don’t mean just hip and cool. We mean SELF-PUBLISHED.
True, Dave’s book “A Hologram for the King” was the first indie title to be reviewed in the pages of The New York Times (on the cover, no less!). And yes, his little publishing company, McSweeney’s, may be more well-known than some of the others whose books are regularly featured on IndieReader. But it really doesn’t make them any less self-pubbed.
Following find an excerpt from a recent interview Dave did with The Guardian.
McSweeney’s as a publishing company is built on a business model that only works when we sell physical books. So we try to put a lot of effort into the design and production of the book-as-object. For Hologram, we worked with a great printer near Detroit, and that collaboration proved, on a small level, that you can make manufacturing work here in the States if you’re willing to work within the capabilities of existing machinery and expertise — and the occasional constraints can actually make the object better. Besides, the manufacturing costs in China, when you consider time and shipping, make Detroit more logical much of the time.
You founded one of the most influential literary magazines in the US. Do you feel pessimistic about the future of publishing?
There’s never been a better time, I don’t think, to be a writer or publisher. The playing field is more democratic than ever, in that any small publisher can get a book to any reader in the world with relative ease. That’s very new, and good for everyone. I’m also encouraged because it looks like ebooks’ share of the market might be levelling out. I always hoped there’d be a plateau, and after that, ebooks and physical books would enjoy a kind of permanent détente. At least for the moment, that seems to be what’s happening.
Yes readers, this is what an indie looks like.