Self-publishing has completely redefined the publishing industry in the past decade, for better and for worse. The cost of becoming a ‘published author’ has become ridiculously inexpensive, paving a smooth road to many the aspiring author and undercutting the monopoly of publishing houses. Of course, self-publishing does not guarantee instant fame. Other pieces of publishing – editing, cover design, press – that are usually managed by a publishing house must be taken into the author’s own hands or outsourced to other contacts within the industry. It is at stage that the attention to detail is often lost, leaving us with so many beautiful disasters of books: from Bitch, Are You Retarded? to the (in)glorious 50 Shades of Grey. Too often, these books feature unattractive cover designs, awkward titles, and enough punctuation errors to give readers a nervous twitch.
So, if self-publishing is really giving venerated publishing houses a run for their money, why does it lend itself to a bad reputation? Following this line of inquiry, the Guardian has started a series that aims to get to the heart of self publishing by interviewing successful self-published authors. Hopefully, readers will be shown a more personal, author-based perspective on self-publishing to complement any hazy knowledge of the processes behind it.
via The Guardian