The past week or so has seen some controversy regarding the topic of self publishing. I’ve seen posts and arguments before, but the turn and tone that this recent round took was particularly disturbing. I caught wind of what was happening because I subscribe to the blog for Joel Friedlander. I sang his praises a few days ago and his article on the Pros and Cons of Self Publishing is a prime example of why I think he’s the best thing around for writers.
When you think about it, writers 30 years ago had it easier in some ways. Self publish was not much of a legitimate option and writers knew the game, knew the process. It may have been a colossal suck, but the rules of the game were very clear. Self publishing back then and until even recently was “vanity” publishing. In other words, a hack who could not go through the regular publishing process but had enough money to do whatever the heck they wanted.
Unfortunately, even in this enlightened age, the stigma is still around. Oh, it’s whispered and called by different names, but the recent things I’ve seen tell me that the looking down your nose arrogance is still alive and well, and living on the web.
I dare anybody to predict the direction of publishing for the next ten years. Heck, I dare anyone to predict the next TWO. Ga’ head. Yup, that’s what I thought. It’s not possible. Authors now build platforms and are expected to take on a certain amount of marketing for their work. Who is to say that self publishing will not be a part of the normal publishing scheme?
I think what got my goat about this were the comments that Joel referenced that indicated folks who choose to self publish are impatient non-writers who don’t want their product put under the scrutiny of agents and editors. What? You people can’t be serious. I will give you that a certain (I’m certain TINY) percentage fits this but by and large me thinks folks holding this opinion stood in line twice when arrogance was being handed out.
The most recent issue of The Writer magazine has an ad on the back cover from Author Solutions. It’s not the first time I’ve seen this ad. I think it rings true: First Film, Then Music, Now Publishing.
Darned tootin’ fig newton. Indie could certainly do for publishing what it did for films and music.
So applying the flawed logic of self pub nay-sayers, The Sundance Film Festival is just a circus of Charlatans and Posers, eh? Independent music artists have had no impact on the industry and are talentless wannabes?
Are you beginning to see how foolish the argument is?
For me, I’m not sure the direction I’ll go. I think I’ll work towards the traditional route of publishing my work in terms of any novels or non-fictions I produce. With that said, I have flash fiction works over at Smashwords, and in less than a year, over 2000 copies have been downloaded.
Okay, let ‘em fly. Where do you stand on the self publish issue? Vanity publishing or a legit authorship route?