There’s a great article in The New York Times today in which Alan Finder discusses the many benefits and drawbacks to online self publishing, and how it’s evolved from a last resort for artists who’ve been rejected everywhere else to a burgeoning industry in its own right:
Not long ago, an aspiring book writer rejected by traditional publishing houses had only one alternative: vanity publishing. For $5,000 or $10,000, or sometimes much more, he could have his manuscript edited and published, provided that he agreed to buy many copies himself, often a few thousand or more. They typically ended up in the garage.
Digital technology has changed all that. A writer turned down by traditional publishers — or even avoiding them — now has a range of options. Among them are self-publishing a manuscript as an e-book; self-publishing through myriad companies that print on demand, in which a paperback or hardcover book is printed each time it is purchased; and buying an array of services, from editing and design to marketing and publicity, from what are known as assisted self-publishing companies.
Though he notes that like vanity press books, most self-published works “sell fewer than 100 or 150 copies,” he also concedes that authors who choose to self publish typically have much more control over their work than they would with a traditional publishing house, and that you have a better chance of getting ahead all these smaller efforts with a clever marketing campaign and an original idea.
It’s certainly worth reading the rest of the article to get some tips on which kind of self-publishing is right for you, whether it be simple like an e-book plan, or something a little more elaborate like Lulu’s print-on-demand system. Either way, we’re sure the market for self-published material is only going to get wider in scope!
Photo credit: Jakub Krechowicz, via The Stock Exchange