Authors Are Doin’ For Themselves

April 28th, 2005 · No Comments
by Booksquare

We just can’t stop it — here’s hoping a long listen to the Magnetic Fields will break our spell — but that’s beside the point. The New York Times takes a long look at self publishing. And M.J. Rose, who we first met over her (then) self-published first novel, responds with some questions she can’t get answered to her satisfaction (like true consumer sales figures).

In the past week, we’ve seen a rather weird instance of one fairly-new-to-the-scene author receive “offers” (and we use the term with all due skepticism in this case) from two self-publishers. The first came from her own initiative; the second from thin air. Beware publishers who seek you out, we always say. Self publishing has its place and can work to the advantage of some authors. But sales come long and hard. You know how they say “buyer beware?” Well, yeah, really beware here.

On a related note, we almost chose to discount the article because the author crossed wires that didn’t feel right to us. She seems to mix self publishing with print-on-demand:

Earlier this month got into the act, announcing that it had acquired BookSurge, a printing company with a self-publishing division based in Charleston, S.C. BookSurge uses print-on-demand technology that makes it possible to guarantee a two-day turnaround to print a book, even if only one customer orders a copy. For the first time, print-on-demand companies are successfully positioning themselves as respectable alternatives to mainstream publishing and erasing the stigma of the old-fashioned vanity press.

Given that POD has implications far beyond self publishing, and that we believe Amazon isn’t making the investment for self published authors only, we wonder why this statement was made in this manner. Of course, we also wonder why Amy Fisher has such scary eyebrows, so it might be the wine talking.

File Under: Publishers and Editors