Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Not so self published

So in the writing realm it seems self publishing is all the rage right now.  Or at least constantly the topic of discussion.  Amazon seems to be leading this charge and as such, most talks revolve around their product KDP.

Recently I've seen a lot of blog posts and forum discussions around the death of self publishing, or watering down of the product due to the lack of barriers to entry.  You know, anyone can write a book or smash together words that represent incoherent thought and put them up for sale.

A lot of people see this increasing trend as killing the brand or ruining the opportunity for those of us that take this seriously.  Trust me, the idiots are out there.  Two minutes glancing over the writing forums and you get questions like "how do I save my novel in word" or "can I publish a sci fi novel?"

The ludicrous amount of people that see this a get rich quick scheme and constantly upload less than sub par material is staggering.  Throw a rock and you'll hit an author that can't read, much less publish a book that has one complete sentence.

But the chicken little syndrome a lot of people have adopted, to me seems unwarranted.  I see the increase in crap writing, as an opportunity to shine.  Stop looking at yourself as self published and simply think published.  It's a chance to stand out against the books that should never see the light of day.

What we need to do as serious writers is start viewing this as a business.  Many of us do this already, but many more continually will tell you they write for the love and don't worry about the money.  Well that's great and all, but doesn't go a long way to solving the problem.  There is only one difference to me between self publishing and major publishing and that's that major publishing focuses on the bottom line.  I don't see why we can't do this as well.  We still retain full creative control of our work but we cannot afford to lose the professional side of it all.  "If it doesn't make dollars, it doesn't make sense."

Sure anyone can upload a book, but anyone can't bring pages to life or paint a masterpiece with words.  The barriers to entry lie there.  While the simple act of uploading a file is easily reproduced the quality of the work is not.  So take a page from the majors and make it professional and the increasing number of sucky books will make the better writers float to the top.  

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