Zahn Goes Indie

It's been a tough month for oldpub, Editors at the Big Five publishers were already scrambling for their Xanax and Franzia over the imminent collapse of their lumber monopoly.

Now their living nightmare just got worse.

Timothy Zahn Indie

For the two of you who cut school the day we discussed Timothy Zahn in Chad class, he is the multi-award-winning, multi-best-selling author of at least one of your top ten favorite books.

Members of Generations X and Y are fond of pointing out how Star Wars vanished from the scene in the early 80s and didn't come back for a decade. Timothy Zahn is why it came back. He didn't spearhead the Expanded Universe, but he firmly established it as a cultural institution with his seminal Thrawn Trilogy.

Many creators--including George Lucas and JJ Abrams--tried to tell Star Wars stories that matched the original trilogy's quality. Zahn succeeded where they all failed. He's such a Chad, his books' popularity forced Lucas' hand when it came to naming the Republic's capital.

You have Timothy Zahn to thank for all of your favorite Expanded Universe stories--even the ones he didn't write. Because without the Thrawn books, it's doubtful the EU would have been as successful as it was or attracted the talent it did.

The word "Legend" gets thrown around a lot. This is one situation in which it definitely applies.

Timothy Zahn is a science fiction legend.

And he's going indie.

Newpub authors have been predicting high-profile defections from oldpub for years. The battered spouse mentality engendered by the Big Five publishers kept their exploited talent on the reservation longer than expected, but now their business model's collapse has finally prompted an A+ list author to jump the fence.

You can be sure that Zahn won't be the last.

If you submitted a book to Tor, Penguin House, or Simon & Schuster, expect a delay getting your rejection letter. All their interns are busy keeping their editors on around-the-clock suicide watch.

In the meantime, reward Mr. Zahn's wisdom by picking up a copy of his self-published novella.

Timothy Zahn - Ghost Riders in the Sky

Already got Zahn's latest? Get ready for mine by grabbing the first book in my epic mech saga for just 99 cents!


  1. He's been treated like crap by Oldpub for most of his career, so I can see why he'd jump ship. They aren't offering him anything he can't do better himself. Heck, that cover is much better than what they're putting out these days.

    I wouldn't expect a flood to Newpub from the top down. It's going to start with midlisters and the mistreated. The Rothfuss crowd will be dead last to make that jump.

    1. Nick Cole's prophecy of oldpub purse puppies being forced into newpub and failing as their sinecures disappear is rapidly coming to pass.

    2. There is at least one small publisher that serves as a gateway to indie for much of the SFWA group. I've seen their new releases start at #1,200,000 or so on the release weekend.

  2. "Zahn succeeded where they all failed. He's such a Chad, his books' popularity forced Lucas' hand when it came to naming the Republic's capital."

    And push the Luke and Mara marriage through despite desires at LFL to 'leave their relationship ambiguous' at the end of Hand of Thrawn.

    1. I thought the marriage was a stroke of galactic level genius. It captured the John Carter Djeah Toris relationship for a new generation.
      In some ways Zahn recaptured the whole space opera/planet romance vibe so effectively


    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Luke & Mara is probably the only thing I've ever really 'shipped', so I was thrilled to see it happen. Shame few people really got to do anything with it with Mara sidelined for the first half of the New Jedi Order and then killed off in Legacy of the Force (and I think several members of the story group were happy to get rid of her :p ).

      I really would love to see the post-Hand of Thrawn era as Zahn would have handled it, since he passed on the NJO, feeling it was too dark and grim for Star Wars. I enjoyed it at the time, but in retrospect, I tend to agree with him. And the less said about Legacy of the Force or the Disney Sequels, the better.

  3. Welcome, Brother Timothy, to the sweet taste of publishing freedom!

  4. That is a very Chad title. An excellent Western song, and now I want to know how it works in the story. The blurb gives some teasing...

    Ok, I'm in. Copy bought. Not because I originally saw Zahn's notices, but because someone I follow had it to check out.

    Word Of Mouth is the best advertising.

  5. Zahn is a big win for indie, a piece of reality that says trad publishing is headed off the cliff. JD is right though, it will take some time for other "stars" to wake up. Being treated like the emperor of Rome (right before you get thrown into the arena with the lions) tends to distort your view of reality.

    1. There's also a baffling number of new authors who still ride the oldpub rejection carousel.

      This would be the perfect business if not for the glut of authors who crave validation over success.

    2. Trad pub is the supposedly safe and secure option. It also still has some meaning for certain social groups who see writing as a calling rather than a job. And if you get into the right (left really) clique, the beast will protect you for a while (cough-Scalzi-cough) until it finds a new shinier way to virtue signal.

    3. New Oldpub authors still need a second job to get by. Since no one will ever reach Koontz, King, or Patterson status again, they will never get out of that hole.

      There is no advantage to going with Oldpub anymore. It's just not worth it.