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Friday, February 3, 2012

Self-Publishing Analogy

Not that long ago I loaded up my Kindle with all kinds of books.  Some "mainstream" material from the big publishing houses in NYC, some smaller houses, and some self-pubbed books.  The cool thing is because I bought so many (like more than a dozen) at one time, I can no longer remember which books were from big houses and which were self-published.

So now that I'm reading through my stockpile, it's fun to guess whether a book is from a brand-name publisher or not.  In most cases, I can tell the difference. That's not necessarily a bad thing, though. 

Think of FOX.  When it first came on the air, it took chances with its programming that the big networks wouldn't (or couldn't) -- and look what happened.  FOX is one of the big boys now.  

I think it's the same with publishing.  Sure, the big houses can crank out hits like the networks do, but sometimes they shy away from things that are a little too different. And sometimes they spend a little too much time riding the latest trend (reality shows and vampires anyone?) into the ground. 

Smaller organizations are more likely to take a chance on something different -- and often they reap the rewards.  

And sometimes those who go solo hit the jackpot.

So while others will rant and rave against self-pubbed works, I prefer to think of them like those little videos on You Tube just waiting to go viral.  


Carolyn V said...

What a great idea to guess which is which. =D

I can't wait to see what happens with the ebook trade. ;)

Shockgrubz said...

This is a great way to look at it! I'm not going to be ashamed to self-pub now. Thanks.

shelly said...

I'll be self-pubbing Secondhand Shoes this year. Right now the beta-readers have it and then it will go onto the editor-for-hire.
So I'm applying the elbow grease and will be rubbing away so it shines.

Also, I've read a lot of great new and self-pubbed authors. I've only read one really-really bad one. Everything about that ONE self-pubbed author was BAD.

Angela Ackerman said...

I have completely changed how I feel about self publishing. Sure, there's still a lot of writers wanting to throw something up quickly to make money and hope readers won't know the difference if they really put the time into making the best book they can or not, but there are also a lot of books out there that the industry stamped as 'won't sell' or 'not right for us' or 'we have something like this' that are excellent stories that would otherwise never see the light of day. I have critiqued many books that are worthy of selling, yet only a fraction ever do. It's a tough market. So I am thrilled to see a way for these stories to get out into the world for the READERS to decide their worthiness, not someone only thinking of profit margins.

Happy Friday!

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Wonderful analogy, Vicki! And sometimes we find hidden gems that way.
Glad to know I'm not the only one who dumps a ton of books into my iPad at one time.

Janet Johnson said...

I like this view! And I love the idea of trying to guess what came from where. Seriously, they ought to do a study about this. :)

Nicole Ducleroir said...

I agree with you. Indie books and films, for example, are often much more interesting and edgy. The only hesitation I find with self-published books is in the editing department. I find more typos, grammar and punctuation errors, and structure issues with self-pubbed books. Not all. But a larger number of self-pubbed books I've read have mechanical issues than I've found with professionally edited books.

Hope you're having a great weekend!