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Why I'm Taking a Principled Stand Against Badness In Publishing

I'm Sebastian, and I've been called a lot of things recently - ranging from 'a literary hero' to crazy. Why? Because I gave up 2/3rds of a $65,000 advance on a nonfiction book from Simon and Schuster by writing an Open Letter to the CEO saying that they don't treat people well enough.

Most people don't understand the decision. Why do that? Why screw up my author's career? Isn't that a lot of money? Isn't it a huge risk?

And the answers are - principles, integrity is more important than money, maybe not, and no.

I'm taking a bit of stand. I'm just one guy, but I think the publishing houses mistreat a lot of people, and it's even hurting their own business. Go talk to editors in the publishing world. They're all buried under paperwork and bureaucracy. The work conditions range from okay to unpleasant. I think people in publishing don't even realize how bad things are, because they've never seen a very healthy hyper-engaged industry.

I'd like things to get better, so I'm taking a stand. Okay, I'm losing out on about $50,000 after I already had a book that was basically done. But what's the point of money? I think it's some mix of doing what's important to you in the world, and being happy and engaged.

I Wrote a New RV Book! My Old Books are on Sale!

On Tynan

I had a discussion about book pricing recently with one of my favorite bloggers, Sebastian Marshall. His new book, Ikigai, is being sold for $7.77. He doesn't really care how much money he makes off it (his portion goes to charity, anyway), but he didn't want to lower the price because he thinks that it would signal that the book isn't high quality. I said that I'd accept that possibility for a chance of reaching a larger audience.

And due to lowering the price of Life Nomadic to 2.99, I've been able to reach an incredibly wide audience. In the past month I've sold far more copies of Life Nomadic than all other months combined. Reviews have been coming in, and lives have been changed. Despite much thinner margins, I'm even making more money from it.  I couldn't be more happy about all this.

Make Her Chase You and Life Nomadic

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