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Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Legitimatization of Self-Publishing

Pictured: 78 Yr. old Stanley Gordon West
Self-publishing is coming into it's own. The process is self-empowering, exposes old publishing faults (and some real charlatan practices) and is disspelling long-held myths.

"I hereby knight thee Sir Self-publishing...
Rise and assume your armor of legitimacy."

I believe you can self-publish (digitally AND print) without giving any money to so-called self-publishing outfits; rather they be "vanity" presses or the newly-minted "we-edit-for-quality-and-don't-publish-just-anybody" types...hybrids of the "we-are-the-only-ones-who-know-quality-and-what-should-be-published" traditional publishers.

Am I advocating the application of NO quality standards? Definitly not! But, there are other sources available to writers (many free) to gain this input and editing, etc. from other than these centralized-services, self-publishing houses (they are adequate if you just don't have the time). It just takes research, establishing good professional relationships through social media, etc.

Here is a revealing article on the maturation of self-publishing and how one writer played, and is playing, a part:

By Kim Ode of the Minneapolis StarTribune

Authors rewrite the book on self-publishing

It's more popular than ever, but success depends on more than writing. marketing.

Not so long ago, the way to get a book published was clear: Submit your work, twiddle your thumbs, get back the manuscript, send it out again. Eventually, if you were very good, or very lucky, a publisher would bite and, eventually, you'd be holding a book, no longer a mere writer, but an author.

Today, the digital world has ignited self-publishing, changing everything. Why wait for New York when you can plunk down your money and get a finished book in just a few months?

Make no mistake: It will be your responsibility to market it. (John's Note: Hell, new writers had this responsibility under traditional publishing, too). Many reviewers and bookstores won't take you seriously. And you may never earn back your investment, which could be as high as $20,000. Is it worth it? Apparently, it's at least worth the risk. In 2007, about 134,000 books were self-published in the United States. In 2008, that rose to more than 285,000 and in 2009 soared to more than 764,000. (John's Note: With POD and other tech, I don't believe one need pay this kind of money. Remember my commentary in paragraph 3 & 4 above).

In contrast, traditional publishers produced about 288,000 books in 2009, almost stagnant from 289,000 the year before, according to the firm R.R. Bowker, which tracks the book industry.

Read and learn more

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