This Week in the Blogs, February 12 – 18, 2012

by | Feb 19, 2012

Publishing meeting season is heating up, with writers conferences, publishing university and lots of other groups holding annual meetings. It’s a good thing. Here we take a look at epublishing and homebrewing, more on epublishing and ebook services, and some advice about print book publishing for novelists. Have fun.

Jeff Moriarity (@epublishunum) on EPUBLISH UNUM
Publishing lessons from a homebrewing newbie
“There never will be a better time to try new and crazy things in the digital publishing world, but if you don’t understand how things work already you’re going to fail. Learn what others are doing, borrow from them, then head off in your own direction.”

L.J. Sellers (@LJSellers) on Crime Fiction Collective
Invest in Your Own E-Book
“The three main elements to producing a quality e-book are editing, cover design, and formatting. Many authors are tempted to do all three themselves to save money. But unless you’re incredibility talented and have all the time in the world, it’s probably not a cost-effective decision.”

Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) on Jane Friedman
10 Questions to Ask Before Committing to Any E-Publishing Service
“With an avalanche of new services promising to help writers self-publish or distribute their e-books even better and more profitably before, it’s imperative that writers educate themselves about how these services typically operate—plus read the fine print of any new service before deciding to commit.”

John Bethune (@JohnBethune) on B2B Memes
The Coming Death of Self-Publishing
“As an implicit indicator of quality, the idea inherent in the phrase “self-publishing” increasingly serves no purpose (other than a historical one).”

Dean Wesley Smith (@DeanWesleySmith) on Dean Wesley Smith
The New World of Publishing: Reasons for a Trade Paper Edition
“Building a booklist will take time, sometimes years to build a decent publisher list of titles. And the sales will be very slow at first. But down the road, after those years, you will be very, very glad you got started early.”

Photo: Lindenbaum

tbd advanced publishing starter kit

1 Comment

  1. James

    That’s a good roundup, especially Jane’s post. Here’s what I wrote on B2Bmemes:

    I’d say the term “self publisher” was mostly dead all along, and here’s
    why: creating an e-book file and posting it on Amazon is not “publishing”
    in any meaningful sense of the word. However, that’s the extent of
    publishing for most “self published” authors I meet.

    Sure, they’ll wave their hands at Twitter and social media a bit, but
    basically they’re posting it on Amazon and calling themselves

    As for quality, I disagree. The vast majority of self-published work I
    see–and let’s face it, it falls mainly into genre fiction and re-purposed
    public domain spam–is crap. Are there Joe Konraths? Sure–but so very,
    very few, *just like traditional publishing*.

    Publishing has never been fair or equitable, and recognition of good work
    has always–always–relied chiefly on luck and timing. If it relied on
    quality, many more authors would be successful. If it relied on marketing
    strategy? Same answer.

    And finally, here’s another trend I see–most self-publishers aren’t savvy
    about just how difficult it is to put together and publish and promote a
    quality book. Service providers are cropping up, but they’re mostly
    mediocre and limited in scope.

    I’ll make another incendiary comment: the vast majority of self-publishers
    are publishing for vanity’s sake. They don’t want to spend the time,
    money, and effort it takes to make a *professional* quality book–they
    want to get it out there *now*, so they can make money (a la John Locke’s
    “write a book every seven weeks” schmaltz).

    So, in the end, the cream of the self-published crop will rise to the
    top–and represent a tiny fraction of those choosing to go it alone.

    Just like “traditional” publishing success.


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