Meanwhile, more and more people seem to be entering the authorly scene, competing for fewer and fewer published spots. For this reason (as well as, I'm sure, many others), vast numbers of writers are skipping the middle man (well, middlemen) of traditional publishing and plunging into the bookselling waters solo. With the ever increasing popularity of the e-reader, publishing your book yourself, in electronic form, is easier than ever. Then, if things really get moving, there is always a possibility to expand into print.
For a long time, this was a little-talked-about issue. Whispered in corner chat rooms and wholly separate from the "real" publishing talk on Twitter. Those people, who obviously couldn't make it in the traditional scene weren't real authors and weren't to be taken seriously.
But that is changing. Perhaps it's because of the scary-looking shifts in traditional publishing, but perhaps they just needed time to get accustomed to it, people are openly discussing self-publishing values. There are even breakout workshops at major conferences all about how, when, and why to self publish.
And, people are learning a few things about it:
- It's not easy. While being traditionally pubbed doesn't mean you get to sit on your laurels while a whole team does your marketing for you, when you publish yourself, you are seriously On Your Own. You do everything, from the editing to the publicity and marketing to the artwork to the formatting. It's a full-time job. Oh, yeah, and you still have to write the book.
- Not everyone who self-pubs is a horrid author. Some really great success stories are coming out of the self-publishing world!
- Not everyone who publishes traditionally is an excellent author. (ahem, 50 Shades of Gray?)