Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Publishing's Brave New World

Pardon my language, but I am full of piss and vinegar today. I'm out of beer, hormonal, still coping with ABNA rejection, and I got to bed late last night, so I'm sure those are all contributing factors. Don't worry though. I'm now home in my jammies, and I'm as close to a happy place as I can get under the circumstances.

Men with printing press, circa 1930s
Mustache Man Says "Chin up!"
For anyone who missed it, I started my day with a little rant in the comment thread of a Huffington Post article on self-publishing. Just to be clear: please, someone kick me if I ever say that traditional publishing is perfect and that it doesn't need to evolve with the times. I'm not trying to bury my head in the sand and pretend that e-books haven't made an impact on the industry or that changes don't need to be made. A lot of (much needed) change is going to happen in publishing because that's what happens in every industry. If it doesn't, the industry disappears.

I just don't think everyone who has experienced the sting of rejection a few times too many should take it as a sign that they'll never make it past the velvet ropes into traditional publishing and should just shell-out $2,000 for some vanity press's Author Empowerment package or whatever they call it. Check out some of these places; it's like ordering up a Vegas wedding. (See Balboa Press's package deals here for giggles.) Oh, and they do offer an "Empower Package." You can feel empowered to pay them $4,999 to get all kinds of stuff including 40 "free" paperback copies of your book and an "editorial review." I wonder how much it costs to guarantee the review is good.

Wyvern Bindery, Clerkenwell
The No Frills Package
While self-publishing may be the way to go for some, I'm not convinced it's the future for fiction. I hope it's not anyway. I'm lucky if I can scrape together $400 for a conference; forget $5,000 to publish my own book. Eek!