Last year at Wordstock I was amazed with how many people I met who self-published books (physical books or e-books). I was also amazed how many of the books sounded awful when they described them or had amazingly awful cover art (it may seem petty but seeing a really poor photoshop cover makes me cringe). Anyone can publish a book now. ANYONE.
Sorry, my cultural elitism is showing. I'm sure that there are quality titles out there in the self-publishing world, but I'm not wiling to wade into the ocean of sub-par books written by someone who won't even have someone proof-read something before they hit the 'publish' button.
I have some friends who have published through Perfect Day Publishing and I really like the idea of small presses (I interned there, it is run by one person). I see them as this kind of great mid-way between the ivory towers of the big publishing houses and the wilds of the self-publishing world. But small presses are by definition small and have limited reach.
I just read this great article on the state of publishing (from Forbes... someone linked it on Facebook) taking a look at the battle between the 'legitimacy' of traditional publishing and the 'democracy' of self-publishing. It ends on a hopeful note, hypothesizing where publishing as a whole might go:
- A system of reviewing independently published books will help create a system for discovering what is good in the self-publishing world.
- More 'mid-level' authors will embrace independent publishing, giving it more credibility.
- The big publishing houses will finally learn to adapt to the sea-change and find a new profit model
This was I think the best argument I read for self-publishing in the article: