Wil Wheaton, popular blogger, best known for his roles in “Stand by Me” and as Wesley Crusher on “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” has released his next collection of work on Lulu.com. Wheaton’s already published books before via Subterranean Press and O’Reilly Media, but he chose to self-publish the collection himself. As he says on his blog,
Sunken Treasure is doing great, and if the last two days are any indication, my Operation Crazy Idea to release more original material using this kind of POD technology and distribution is going to quickly become Operation Awesome Idea that will let me create more cool stuff for my audience than I ever dreamed possible, and actually support my family doing it… I have a lot of Crazy Ideas that have Awesome potential, including more original works of fiction, audio and video projects, and something that I’ve wanted to do my whole life but didn’t think I could ever — well, I’m getting way ahead of myself, but I sure am excited.
He describes the book in the introduction: “I pulled together things I liked from all three of my books, my blog, and this groovy collaborative fiction project I played with called Ficlets. I also included, for the first time anywhere, one of the scripts I wrote for a sketch comedy show at the ACME Comedy Theater.”
That more high-profile writers are using POD technology shows that the self-publishing paradigm has taken a major leap. Not too long ago, Lulu was scoffed at as an illegitimate form of publishing, but with authors of Wil Wheaton’s stature going this route, self-publishing services like Lulu are going to gain credibility.
For someone with a built-in audience like Wil Wheaton, it makes perfect sense to self-publish, as he can take a greater share of the profit from the sale of each book. With the major advances from traditional publishers dwindling down, it will not be surprising if more mainstream authors take this route.