Friday, November 20, 2009


Two blogs two days in a row. I normally don't do this, but it's been rampant in the publishing world lately about Harlequin opening up a self-publishing sect in their company. Dismaying...

Rachelle Gardener sums it best:

And I agree with her 100%. People go around everyday claiming to be published when in fact they are self-publishing. The Augusta Chronicle, a major newspaper in my area, published a story about a girl who self-published, and it grated my nerves, because they kept lauding her as a teenage author when she in fact was not an author at all. Anyone can self-publish. Anyone can write a crappy book and go to lulu or some other vanity press and get published in no time. It doesn't take work, talent, or skill.

Calling oneself an author is a high title, in my opinion. Every published book right now had to go through a rigorous process to get on the shelves of your bookstores. Even if you think they're pure garbage, they had to go through the same exact process. Being an author will no longer be sacred if self-publishing takes over actual publishing.

I take pride in the fact that I worked hard to become a good writer. I take pride in that short story I published because it took me years to be able to write like that--plus, I never thought I'd be able to write literary fiction because of how complicated literature can be. Now some Joe Schmo who self-published a novel is going to overshadow me simply because he "published a novel."

I remembered when my professor first told the class I had a short story accepted at an e-zine. It was met with applause, and then my friend next to me told me some girl at her old high school published two novels already. I looked this girl up, and lo and behold she was not present on any internet database. Plus, if some teenager in Augusta had actually published, The Augusta Chronicle would have been all over it, or some teen member of the Xtreme (there were Xtreme paper writers at the school in which said published girl resided) would have wanted to interview this girl. Therefore, I concluded she was self-published, and the fact that she was receiving more praise rubbed by nerves raw.

Is publishing no longer sacred as it once was? What are your thoughts, bloggers?


V. S said...

I agree with you one hundred percent. I have never quiet understood the point in self-publishing? Really, what honor does anyone receive with publishing their own book?

The excitement and reward is going through the tough writing process, the brain-wracking editing process, and the search for an agent, which is very hard these days.

So self-publishers get back to the drawing board and fix your story, get in published-by anybody but yourself.

Daisy Whitney said...

Publishing is changing so much. It's like the Internet -- now anyone can be on "TV" because the Web has opened it up thanks to YouTube and the likes. I am all for the democratization of content. But I think the key in the end is the audience. There are shows on YouTube like "What the Buck" that are good and reach 300,000 people each episode and there are videos with 10 viewers. Michael Buckley works hard, makes a living, has sponsors and produces a quality show. I think it's similar to the publishing debate. Sure, anyone can self-publish. What's key though is did they market it, earn great reviews, get attention for it and write a great book -- then it's competitive with the other material out there.