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LaZea
December 9th, 2002, 02:56 PM
I was speaking to some friends online and we all came up with the idea of re-defining the "Self-published" word. When you tell people you're "Self-published" it's usually greeted quite negatively.

But, independent film-makers don't get a "bad rap" so to say. So why not "self-published" be changed to "independent". So, what do you think? "Independent Authors"?

Richardb
December 9th, 2002, 04:35 PM
As one of the club, I am all for it. Although I admit, I sort of laugh at the scorn around self publishing.... Let me see, I am one of a tiny fraction of the people in the world who ever finish writing a complete literary work, I have no patience for the process of formal publishing, so go 'independant'. I sell a few hundred books (nope, don't have that many relatives) and I am supposed to care when someone who has never done any of the above looks DOWN at me???
Kind of strikes me as a snobby thing.
Independant is good. Self Published is good. I had the guts to do it and show it, where is your's is good... you know, whatever keeps me going to the next one!
By the way, I LOVE the term vanity press. 'cause you know, I do this for my ego... with my hundred copies sold comes infinate fame and fortune to stroke my ego... oh, yeah, no fame... no fortune. But, a few emails of encouragement and some folks that enjoyed the book. Well, a nice fuzzy glow maybe!
Sorry for the sarcasm, just one of those days! Good post for commentary on, from the silent majority!

Erebus
December 9th, 2002, 07:42 PM
Well, as both an independent author and publisher myself, I wholeheartedly disagree with any negative tags associated with being with self-published. If it was good enough for Poe and Mark Twain, and more recently, Matthew Reilly, then why all the bad press I say! :) Our imprint is signing on some great new talent and presenting their excellent works to the world, as well as giving the authors the opportunity of seeing their book in print. Believe me, there is no greater feeling than seeing your own book on the book shelf! Isn't that what it's all about in the end anyway? Why write a book if the book is never created? :)

I, Brian
December 10th, 2002, 03:09 AM
LaZea -

You're just repeating the sales yak that independents spiel. It does nothing to encourage the abilities of authors, but it does add to the bank of these so-called publishers. Do be aware of their bias.

At the end of the day, self-publishing is also known as vanity publishing for good reason. The scenario is of two major forms:

1/ The author is too egotistical to accept that their first draft manuscript requires editing. Therefore they self-publish, imagining that others will accept their greatness.

2/ The author hasn't got the confidence to face the real world of publishing. Therefore they do the easist thing.

In the end, vanity-publishing is usually a self-defeating path by defeatists.

A cynical view? Of course it is. But if someone is going to put the effort into writing a novel, they need to be encouraged to take it all the way, instead of taking easy - and futile - short-cuts.

Btw - there is a world of difference between independent film-making and self-publishing. But vanity publishers won't say that.

I, Brian
December 10th, 2002, 03:21 AM
If I may be so bold as to continue being opinionated by taking on a MOD ;):


If it was good enough for Poe and Mark Twain, and more recently, Matthew Reilly, then why all the bad press I say!

Poe and Twain have nothing to do with it. That was the 19th century. We are no longer living in the 19th century. Times have changed very significantly on the publishing front.


Our imprint is signing on some great new talent and presenting their excellent works to the world,

Ah...but are you providing any significant editorial input? If not, then what you publish will suffer from it, doing the authors no favours. The main criticism about Vanity Publishing is precisely the lack of third-party editorial input - that is precisely why it is so frowned upon.


giving the authors the opportunity of seeing their book in print.

But should authors not demand more than just that?


there is no greater feeling than seeing your own book on the book shelf! Isn't that what it's all about in the end anyway?

But on your own shelf? There should be more to a work than that. A shelf in a book shop, perhaps. Some self-publishers actually can do that - most can't.


Why write a book if the book is never created?

Why write a book, only to let yourself down at the end?

[btw - I'm taking this as an opportunity to debate the issue, rather than simply being awkward ;)]

Erebus
December 10th, 2002, 03:41 AM
Well those who know what we do at Equilibrium Books will also know that we reject more than we accept. What we do is about selling books to the public not to authors, like so many others are. I applaud people who attack the quality POD publishers like us, who won't publish undedited or unpublishable material, it must mean that they have achieved publishing success without needing the very helpful launching pad of quality POD. If they have managed to score a mainstream contract, then all power to them I say. What we offer is an affordable alternative to get the book on the author's shelf, the book store shelves and wherever else we can get it! :) Sadly, unedited vanity publishing has tainted quality publishers like us. But I can wear that. When writers serious about their books contact us, then they know the difference. Those who just believe the opinionated hype and don't bother to check us out will never know what they're missing.

As for your 19th Century comment: perhaps it's time we took a leaf from their books? Part of what we do at Equilibrium is based on good old-fashioned, personalised service - seriously lacking in today's world. If it is a label given to Equilibrium Books, then it is a label I shall continue to wear with much pride and sastifaction, regardless of the year.

EDIT:
Oh, and for the record, our authors books are selling, and also for the record, I PERSONALLY read every book submitted. If it needs major editing we say so and recommend an editing service. If the book is acceptable but needs some minor polishing, we do this at no extra cost. We can also do more extensive editing, but understandably for a very affordable fee. Sadly, we also have some that no amount of editing can save or with content that is just unpublishable. It is these that we have to reject of course. We want our authors to be proud to say they have published with Equilibrium Books (http://www.equilibriumbooks.com). :)

kahnovitch
December 10th, 2002, 03:48 AM
I Brian....perhaps you should check out Erebus' website about his publishing company, before you go throwing random criticism at it.
For a start "Vanity" and "POD" aren't the same thing, and there are hundreds (if not thousands) of talented writers that are virtually beating their heads against a brick wall every damn day, due to the publishing market being tighter than a gnat's arse to get into.
Prospective, as yet unpublished writers, are generally treated like cattle by agents and publishers due to the nature of the industry. THEY (publishers etc) have all the power. POD takes some of that power away and puts a little more in the hands of the author and gives him/her another option rather than trying to impress the "Godly Ones" of the traditional publishing houses/ literary agencies.
I think it's an option that more and more writers will turn to in the future, simply because the publishers/ agents etc (as much as I may seem to hate them) have too much work and too many submissions on their hands to give each one a proper and fair appraisal. Hence many get rejected without ever being read.

Niehilim
December 10th, 2002, 04:35 AM
I am a published writer at equilibriumbooks.com, and I am perfectly content with all that has happened so far. I was writing for a hobby, but now I have a published book - how many people can say the same?

This outfit has aided me, and as mentioned in some form by someone above, I do have a book on my shelf by me. Is that a lack of ambition? Is that the easy way out? I do not think so. I argue that it is merely the beginning. It has been a way that I have managed to expose thousands of people to my work, including multiple best-selling authors.

From here I am writing a sequel, and I plan to go for the big guns with that. If it does not happen, then so what? If I sell all of my books through a print on demand outfit, what does it matter? I have done something in my life that I am proud of, and at the end of the day, I will be able to look at my life and say that I did something with it.

I, Brian
December 10th, 2002, 06:50 AM
Erebus


Well those who know what we do at Equilibrium Books will also know that we reject more than we accept. What we do is about selling books to the public not to authors,

and


Sadly, unedited vanity publishing has tainted quality publishers like us.

Note the distinction between your company and what I was criticising - which was indeed the latter.

kahnovitch -

Please note that distinction also ;)

I, Brian
December 10th, 2002, 06:53 AM
As a general point, with reference to the original post, there is indeed a distinction between an actual independent publisher, and a vanity publisher.