I couldn’t post last week’s article without having to comment about it. http://www.sleepers-run.com/2012/04/digital-self-publishing-might-be-bubble.html As far as the fact that there’s a whole industry built around the desire of many people to publish the work, I have to agree. Just like a casino, they cash in on the numbers, a handful of sporadic winners fuel the drive of a huge numbers of gamblers. Are they all vultures? No, I’ve dealt with some really nice people in my self-publishing adventure; people who have done things for me that were above and beyond their business obligation to me.
The argument about whether the growth of digital self-publishing will bring down the publishing industry is asinine. Indie authors will always have to struggle with the stigma of not having gone through some sort control system i.e. agent, editor, publisher, etc. That’s just the way it is. The few that have made it are indeed a fluke, and as much as we all want to be the exception to the rule, the truth is, most likely we are not. And I’m fine with that. I do what I do because I love it, not because I’m hoping to hit some sort of karmic jackpot.
Will the so-called bubble burst? No. I think the article is wrong in its understanding of certain things. Vanity publishing has always been there. What has changed is that now it’s cheaper and more accessible, so more people can do it. Also, the Internet has ushered all sorts of businesses catering to aspiring writers. Are they taking advantage of the booming market? You bet! That’s what businesses do. Today we can put together albums, make movies, produce comic books, etc. without leaving the comfort of our homes, regardless of their successes or popularity. Access just gives more people a chance to express their creativity, especially those who wouldn’t have the opportunity to do so because of costs, time, resources, geographical location and other issues. Are we all going to make it to the party? Of course not.
The do-it-yourself route is not about toppling any industry; it’s not a revolution, it’s about circumventing a system and making yourself heard. The fantasy that only the best of the best get selected by the publishing industry always makes me laugh. I seriously doubt any avid reader would believe such a fallacy. I find it interesting that the article condemns services pandering to indie writers, but thinks so highly of the publishing industry, which will not waste a second in taking advantage of the handful of lucky authors who rise above the noise. Artists have always been preyed upon, unless they become so big that they can write their own ticket. Otherwise they are just a replaceable cog in a rather large machine.
I find the arrogance, shortsightedness and complete lack of insight of the closing quotes irritating. So, according to the author, writers are magical creatures that come from another planet. They are not just regular folks, who one day decide to express whatever they have inside of them.
Keep on running!