Whether or not you’re a fan (and we freely admit that we are!) the fact that bestselling, bad-boy author James Frey has self published his next book is very big news.
The novel, out today, is called “The Final Testament of The Holy Bible”. Published in conjunction with the prestigious Gagosian Art Gallery (whose gorgeous, limited edition art books are also available via IndieReader), Frey’s book is commercially available in a limited run of 10,000 slip-cased leatherette copies, featuring cover art by photographer Gregory Crewdson. The rest will be sold exclusively online, to be downloaded on to digital readers. These will be the ONLY physical copies produced and available in the US.
AHE: Tell us Mr. Frey, why did you decide to self-publish?
JF: I didn’t want a huge number of copies of this book produced. I also wanted to control all of the editorial, publication and marketing decisions. Self-publishing is the only way to do this. And I’m excited about all of the changes in printing and technology that have made self-publishing easier. I wanted to try it, and see how it felt and see how it worked.
AHE: Did your deciding to self-publish have anything to do with any dissatisfaction with traditional publishing?
JF: Not really. I just love the idea of being free from the system. There are great things about traditional publishing, but I wanted to try to do this book on my own, to try to work within the new digital world. I think it’s a really exciting development for writers. The changes are going to provide us with a ton of new opportunities.
AHE: Can you tell us more about what the book is about?
JF: My idea of what it might be like if the Messiah was alive and living in New York City.
AHE: How long have you been working on it?
JF: I’ve been thinking about it for about fifteen years. It took two years to write.
AHE: What did you find to be the biggest difference between self and traditional publishing?
JF: That I get the final say on every aspect of the book, which is great. That I have to deal with all of the logistics of publishing a book myself, which is a little overwhelming. After having done it, I have a huge amount of respect for writers who self-publish. It’s a bit overwhelming.
AHE: Knowing that most traditional media outlets don’t review self-pubbed books (altho I’m quite sure they’ll make an exception in your case) what are your plans for marketing and PR?
JF: I’m doing very few interviews. I want to let the book come out and see what happens. Let it find its way. Or not. That’s part of the fun and part of the anxiety about releasing any book, whether it’s self-published or not.
AHE: Do you plan to continue to self-pub?
Yes, definitely. Probably not for everything I do, but for some of it. It’s been a fun, cool experience. Moving forward it will depend on the book.
Thank you for your time. And good luck with the new book!