So, I recently read an article linked on one of the blogs I follow – I Read Encyclopedias for Fun
Encyclopedia discusses some interesting thoughts in the post and I encourage any of you who follow me to check it out. It’s an interesting blog in the first place and much better about updating than I am.
Anyway, I read the linked article about self publishing, which I will also link. It’s by Dana Beth Weinberg, whom I’ve never met or even heard of. However, some of her insights and thoughts jumped out at me. In particular, I read this line:
Emotions run high when writers and publishers debate the merits of self-publishing. Some people hold that self-published authors couldn’t break into the world of traditional publishing, gave up, and rushed their poor quality work to market. Others praise self-publishing as a democratizing force that makes it possible for authors to share their stories, even when traditional publishers, perhaps wrongly, imagine those stories don’t have large and lucrative markets. As such, self-publishing gives authors the freedom to share stories with limited appeal or, alternatively, the means to demonstrate marketability and perhaps attract a traditional publisher. In yet another view, self-publishing is a highly entrepreneurial activity. Self-published authors take home a larger share of royalties, and by cutting out the publisher middlemen, they stand to bring home a lot more cash even if they sell fewer books than they would with traditional publishers.
I’ve mentioned before that I am a web comic fan. This comes off as a very similar attitude to the one that web comics faced back when they started. There were several articles talking about the phenomena of web comics and their impact on the industry. The first sets of articles discussed how poor they were and how they would never have a significant impact on the comics industry. Later, as they became more popular and several of the more well known ones – Penny Arcade, MegaTokyo, Dinosaur Comics, and Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal to name a few – began to really get their name out there, there was discussion of keeping web comics and traditional ones separated. Yes, the traditional comics acknowledged, these guys do exist. But they are not our competition, they are their own crowd. Now it is, generally, acknowledged that traditional comics and the web comic medium are contesting for similar audiences. Web comics are being printed, traditional comics are being digitized in to readers.
I see a similar pattern in the research and tone of the Self Publishing article. While I agree with many of the thoughts and tones of it, ultimately, I think we are going to see a very similar pattern to the one we have seen in Web Comics and music – an acknowledgement, separation, and finally acceptance of the self publishing movement. We will also see similar trends – some self publishing authors will become quite successful, others only moderately so. Some will grab on to specific niche markets and squeeze it like a garrote, others will go for general appeals.
Personally, I am excited for the notion. As I’ve stated before – I am working very hard on my writing (well, as hard as I can. I’m also a new father, and, let’s face it, babies are pretty awesome. Especially mine!) and if I can’t find someone to buy it then I’ll probably go with self-publishing.
Just thought I would share a bit.
On the positive side – things are starting to settle down over here and I should be back to posting my reviews and other posts more regularly. I’m going to start with a once a week update schedule to get myself back in to the pattern and advance from there. Thanks, everyone, for your patience!
Please, feel free to leave your thoughts or ideas below!