Thursday, 17 April 2008

Going it Alone

It's not something that I've ever really considered but it does seem to be a growing industry. I'm talking about self publishing. Maybe one of the things that has stopped me from considering it myself is the fact that I remember the era of vanity publishing. Unscrupulous publishers took money from people desperate to be published and the writer received a second rate product in return. I know that when I worked in a charity shop we used to come across some of these books and frankly they were dreadful. One author even donated us 50 copies of their book and we couldn't give them away.
I know that self publishing is different but I still don't see it being for me (sorry captain black) How many times have we been told that people should pay us to publish our work and to run away from anyone who asked for money from you. Also I've never looked into it but I would assume that it is expensive and I don't think that I can justify the expense.
I would be really interested to hear your views. Has self publishing worked for you? Maybe if I was better informed I could make a proper judgement.

3 comments:

womagwriter said...

Self-publishing doesn't have to be expensive if you use a service like Lulu... But self-marketing is, I'd guess, the hardest part.

Gonna be a writer said...

I'll look them up.

Captain Black said...

Actually, I know I may have prompted this topic in the first place but after thinking about it some more, I believe the whole self-publishing idea is just the tip of a very big iceberg...

Improved technology - largely the internet - has allowed the general public much greater access to information but also to produce and deploy information. This include fiction and non-fiction types of material. There are, of course, many advantages and disadvantages to this:

+ Things can be done faster and cheaper. Cut out the "middle man".
+ Things can have peer-review and be self-governing.
+ Paper usage can be reduced and rainforests preserved.

- Lack of filtering and quality review means a lot of rubbish. Insert favourite wheat/chaff metaphor here.
- Vulnerable to plagiarism, vandalism and all sorts of 'isms.
- Parts of the internet are chaotic, full of vanity, profanity...

...to mention but a few. I'm sure this debate will last a long time but I do feel that self-publishing is just a small part of this whole picture.

The best thing to do would probably be to weigh up the pros and cons and then decide whether to deploy a piece of work this way. Personally I've never tried it but then I've (so far) not tried the traditional publishing routes either.

Blimey, I did go on a bit, didn't I?