And now for the news!
Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing!
“The other day at lunch, my friend — a writer and former journalist — raised a palm toward me to stop my monologue and said: ‘I don’t get it! Why would anyone self-publish a book?'” So opens the latest Press-Enterprise contribution from Marj Charlier, in which Charlier, a self-publishing expert who routinely hosts workshops and seminars on the subject, defends the choice to go indie. First she addresses the quality of self-published books: “The belief that all self-published books are poorly written, unedited and poorly designed is pervasive. And, yes, many of them are. Way too many. But some self-published books are great — as fine as those distributed by the big traditional New York publishers and better than some.” Then, she goes on to state that the reasons for going indie are as varied as the authors themselves, including, of course, the speed and responsiveness of self-publishing. Says Charlier, “One of the main reasons that authors self-publish good books is that they have too few years left in life or too little patience to go traditional.” Charlier goes on to describe the hurdles that face even authors who successfully make it through the traditional publishing path, and notes that with the proliferation of self-publishing the process has been democratized. With that proliferation, too, it can become difficult for readers to identify and locate the kind of reading material that they love best–and Charlier has tips and tricks for them to assist in doing exactly that.
- Self to Shelf: The King’s English turns to its community for an anthology celebrating the local bookseller.
If you’re looking for a creative application of self-publishing tools, you can’t look past this project by The King’s English, a beloved bookseller in Salt Lake City, Utah that has survived the rough waters of Amazon’s debut as a major market force in bookselling and is now, in putting together this anthology of community stories, celebrating the people who have kept its doors open and its shelves stocked. As Salt Lake City Weekly contributor Scott Renshaw records, store marketing manager Rob Eckman described the origins of the projects as being rooted in that community-consciousness: “As we approached our 40th birthday, we discussed different things we could do to involve the community, to really be able to celebrate that community aspect of what bookstores are. Finally, we decided to publish a book.” The book in question, which was published under their own imprint using self-publishing tools, invited submissions from the community of 500 words or fewer from both youths and adults. The result has been such a success that The King’s English has decided to make Turning Pages an annual tradition and series, so you can look for more from them in the coming years.
Speaking of creative applications of publishing, consider the work of editor Michalis Pichler, whose latest art book anthology sets out, in the words of Brooklyn Rail Art Books Editor Megan N. Liberty, to “celebrate and archive ten years of the Berlin-based art book fair Miss Read, asks two central questions: what is the function of art fair catalogues and what can they be?” The answers are many and varied, as Liberty describes:
Publishing Manifestos takes this challenge head on, including not just documentation about the past decade of fairs (which have included over 200 exhibitors and a day of programming called “Conceptual Poetics Day”), but also over forty essays and excerpts of texts related to self-publishing, publishing as performance, and other artist’s book practices, making it an invaluable anthology that charts the complex history or artistic bookmaking. As Pichler puts it, “Another way to deal with the habit of printing a catalogue is to produce a discursive publication.”
We’re glad Pichler did exactly that; Publishing Manifestos is not just an important book for those of us whose creative journey included a stop at the intersection of art and self-publishing, but it’s a beautiful publication to hold in the hand. Authors excerpted include everyone from Gertrude Stein to “more contemporary practitioners of experimental publishing, like Pichler, Paul Chan, Alessandro Ludovico, and Paul Soulellis.” Well worth a look, this project is available for pre-order and will be released in hardcover in March 2019.
As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry.This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog each month to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.