Self-publishing and Harlequin Kicking-up Dust

A mass of heated discussion is being shouted around the publishing world in the wake of recent announcements by Harlequin and Thomas Nelson to step in the direction of self-publishing.

Responses have exploded across the industry from the New Yorker to Publisher’s Weekly. Crotchety, curious, and shocked are among the many opinions swirling about, with the resurgence of the term ‘vanity press’ included in the semantical outcry of the literati.

Shocking at best. Inevitable indeed. Masturbatory? Opinions will be opinions. While I cannot fault traditional publishing houses from offering genuine detraction of these decisions – they are business too, after-all. As authors we must be wary of drinking the cool-aide. Not an easy thing to do. Writing is a personal, often intimate endeavor, which propagates a natural to desire for validation – something agents and traditional publishers have a monopoly on.

If writing is an art, publishing is a business. In business, components such as, ingenuity, creativity, evaluating risk, and (gulp), diversification have a proven track record. Those elements should be considered on the micro and macro levels – the success of your own book along with the industry in general.

Agent Richard Curtis provides a rather pragmatic perspective on the subject worth taking a look at on his site E-Reads. What are your thoughts?

– Karl

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