Monday, January 26, 2009


Quite a firestorm in the literary blogosphere over self-publishing. I like the comments by Lee Goldberg.

Mr. Goldberg is writing in response to this article in Time Magazine by Lev Grossman, which states that:

"Saying you were a self-published author used to be like saying you were a self-taught brain surgeon. But over the past couple of years, vanity publishing has becoming practically respectable."

Lee Goldberg responds:

"He's the only person, besides a vanity press huckster, I have ever heard voice that opinion. He tries to back it up by citing a couple of the extraordinarily rare examples of self-publishing success. He neglects to mention, just like the vanity-press hucksters do, that these are extremely rare cases that represent a miniscule percentage of the self-published books printed every year."

I'm glad this debate is taking place. I used to be a bookseller and bookbuyer at Kepler's Books, and I have had first hand experience with self-published books. Yes, every once in a great while there is something wonderful. Verrrrry rarely. The rest, well, good for them, the authors. Now they could say at dinner parties that they had been published, which I think was the main impetus.

However, I do see a strong future for POD (print on demand) books, and journals. There is nothing wrong with vanity publishing. For family histories, or neighborhood books, this is a fine solution.

What do you think?



At 8:33 AM, Blogger Ms. Theologian said...

I wish most self-published books were good, but most of them that I've read need a rewrite and an editor.


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