This Week in Self-Publishing: Pronoun Is Shutting Down

This Week

Books sold: 2 ebooks, 1 paperbacks

Money earned: $5.38

Money spent: $0


Books sold: 341 ebooks, 137 paperbacks

Money earned (book sales): $1,266.29

Money earned (Patreon): $6,909

Money spent: $4,820.71

So I flew from Seattle to Cedar Rapids on Monday to spend the week apartment-hunting, and when I took my phone off airplane mode I had an email from Pronoun announcing that they were shutting down.

They shared the same text on their website:

While many challenges in indie publishing remain unsolved, Macmillan is unable to continue Pronoun’s operation in its current form. Every option was considered before making the very difficult decision to end the business.

As of today, it is no longer possible to create a new account or publish a new book. Pronoun will be winding down its distribution, with an anticipated end date of January 15, 2018.

This is hugely unfortunate, both because Pronoun was a great service—I got to meet the team in New York, and they were doing such good work—and because I’m going to have to find another way to distribute The Biographies of Ordinary People.

(I used to link to a Pronoun sales page every time I typed my book’s title. I’m going to have to re-do all those links.)

After I got the news, I put this on Twitter:

I thought maybe it’d work. But nobody contacted me, so I’m going to have to figure out the best next step on my own.

Last week I wrote that Biographies Vol. 1 was going to get a “new edition,” which is still true—I gotta go in and add all those section breaks to make the perspective shifts a little clearer.

But it makes me wonder if I should do a totally new edition, maybe with a hybrid publisher—I’d query small presses as well if I thought they’d accept me—and publish Vol. 2 that way as well.

(Which might delay Vol. 2‘s release. Ugh.)

Because the other option is to throw Biographies up on Amazon, and being Amazon-exclusive has its advantages, but… I don’t want to just be in the Amazon bucket.

Hmm. Hybrid publishing is not cheap. But you get their marketing and publicity team, which is also what I was hoping to pay for with Vol. 2[UPDATE: And then I remembered that I had spent nearly $5K self-publishing Vol. 1, so I could justify spending that much on Vol. 2 if I went the hybrid route.]

I need to make some calls and send some emails, is what needs to happen.

First I need to add those section breaks, so I can send the shiniest version of Vol. 1 out when I re-query.

And before that I need to fly back to Seattle from Cedar Rapids.

And during all of this I need to move to Cedar Rapids.

(And run a podcast, and edit The Billfold, and keep the rest of my freelance career going.)

It’ll all sort itself out, I’m sure.

But it’s going to take some work. ❤️

Photo credit: Mike Steele, CC BY 2.0.