That was the subject line of a recent email sent to me by my good friend and author currently writing and teaching writing at the University of Massachusetts.
I had yet to see the New York Times article he was referencing. Despite our professional inclinations, email conversations between Mr. Anderson and I generally involve topics like beer, music, or YouTube videos.
I was interested in what brought Mr. Anderson’s attention away from his highbrow academia to the world of self-publishing. His email read only one line – something like ‘looks like you’re in for a raise…’ followed by the link to Wednesday’s Times article, “Self-Publisher’s Flourish as Writers Pay the Tab.”
Good news for self-publishing authors…
The Article opens stating that booksellers, hobbled by the current economic situation, are struggling to lure readers. And with traditional publishers and brick and mortar retailers exercising cutbacks and layoffs, readers are still finding their way books. And the fact that they are suggests that one aspect of the industry is, according to the Times, “…actually flourishing.”
Of course the article discusses some of those alleged downsides of self-publishing (there are some less attractive options out there), but concludes with a quote from Louise Barker, publisher of the traditional house, Pocket Books, “Self-Publishing is no longer a dirty word.”
Ms. Barker’s Pocket Books recently contracted Lisa Genova, an author profiled on this blog previously. Despite the suggestions from many industry professionals, including her agent, that self-publishing would destroy her chances at success, Genova’s book, Still Alice, saw considerable independent success prior to being picked up by Pocket Books on a 6 figure contract.
Barker goes on to comment that publishers now trawl for new material by looking at reader’s comments online about self-published books.
Self-publishing is truly changing the way we write, read, and retail books. That is good news for authors.
Have fun. Keep writing.
– Karl Schroeder