Thursday, January 29, 2009

Motoko on Self-Publishing

The New York Times cracks a self-publishing nut today in an article entitled "Self-publishers Flourish as Writers Pay the Tab."

Here's a highlight: "Vanity presses have existed for decades, but technology has made it much easier for aspiring authors to publish without hefty upfront costs. Gone are the days when self-publishing meant paying a printer to produce hundreds of copies that then languished in a garage.

Now, for as little as $3, an author can upload a manuscript or collection of photos to a Web site, and order a printed book within an hour. Many books will appear for sale on or the Web site of Barnes & Noble; others are sold through the self-publishing companies’ Web sites. Authors and readers order subsequent copies as needed."


Bitterly Books said...

Wait, I have a problem with that story's opening line:

"The point may soon come when there are more people who want to write books than there are people who want to read them."

Aren't we there already? I'd be on board if they said that we have yet to reach the point where more people are writing books than those who want to read them, but I've met a lot more people who want to write a book than those who enjoy reading. (Yes, I have met several people who want to write and sell a book who do not read in their spare time.)

C said...

I knew a guy in college who took everything he wrote as an undergrad and published it through a vanity press. It begin with a philosophy paper he wrote as a Freshman and includes a poem about watching softcore porn on late night cable. The sad thing is he didn't know it was a vanity press. He just assumed all publishers required the writer to pay part of the publishing costs upfront. On second thought, he may have known this, but acted like his book had passed some selection process. I could never tell if he was dumb, or just a terrible liar.

wardrobe malfunction said...

i wonder if there are any stats on this, but i have the impression that there are many many more men who self publish than women. 75/25, 80/20. does that jive with anyone else's observations?

yoann sumo said...

The piece says of self publishers:

"They do not have the benefit of the marketing acumen of traditional publishers."

The very dearth of such acumen in publishing houses is one catalyst for this rise in self publishing.