Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Self-Publishing/Traditional Debate Rages On

There’s been so many hot topics to write about this week that I don’t know where to begin, except to say that trash talk in the publishing world is heating up yet again. If I was a new writer starting out and struggling to decide how I should publish my book, this week’s stories wouldn’t help. Those who’ve been following me on this blog know that I’m both self and traditionally published, and that I see the pros and cons to both. For me, it’s always been about making informed choices. The problem is how does a newbie make an informed choice when with statements like this:

“Self-published authors with their insistent need to spam social media and pump out a copious amount of horrible ebooks are ruining the modern online bookstores”. The author of that statement, Michael Kozlowski, posts snapshots of tweets from authors blatantly asking people to buy their books. While Mr. Kozlowski’s article isn’t totally wrong, he isn’t totally right either. He also quotes traditional publishers who are blasting self-publishers, accusing them of underhanded tactics. Again, he’s not lying, but he’s not looking at the whole picture either. As I’ve noted in previous blogs, some of the big six publishers and their authors have resorted to some pretty underhanded tactics to sell books by skewing reviews and buying their way onto certain bestseller lists. I hope Mr. Kozlowski’s prepared for the backlash. To read his piece, go to

One response to his blog by traditionally published author Laura Resnick, offers some insightful thoughts which, among other things, provides good reasons why she doesn’t believe that self-publishing has devalued the book. You can find her response at

Another provocative piece comes from a publisher who’s quoted saying “the problem is that most of the readers love bad books!” Whoo boy, is he trying to acquire hate mail? The publisher, Carl Hanser Verlig from Munich also states that he’s never read an ebook, although he doesn’t care if others do. What makes him nervous, apparently, is when he sees people reading second-rate books, reviewers praising third-rate books, and booksellers displaying bad books in their windows. Although Mr. Verlig has a long, award-winning career in the publishing industry, I’m quite sure not everyone will agree with him. To read more of his comments in publishing, go to

Meanwhile, more headlines and stories this week reveal that author Sylvia Day has sold more than 550,000 print and ebook copies of her latest book, Entwined With You . Day was self-published and is now traditionally published. You can read about her at

And if you need yet more confusion in your life, one of the first self-published stars, Amanda Hocking, who’s now also traditionally published, has sold a second series to St. Martin’s. While she doesn’t rule out the possibility of self-publishing again, she’d rather let someone else work on the editing, jacket design, and typesetting so she can write. You can read more at

And so the debate, and successes, and trash talk rages on. These are fun times, aren’t they?

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