IT WOULD SEEM THAT THE STIGMA THAT ONCE ATTACHED ITSELF TO SELF-PUBLISHING is disappearing as on-line publication becomes not only more acceptable but more successful.
It means that now, in bestseller lists, alongside literature’s world-famous, you’ll find the likes of John Locke. Last year, he became the eighth member of a highly desirable pack – the Kindle Million Club – a special few who have surpassed the one million sales mark in Amazon’s Kindle store.
Downloading music has become increasingly popular over the past few years and, with the advent of Kindle, packing holiday reading, for instance, is no longer a problem. A friend of mine told me recently that he has downloaded 5,000 books onto his Kindle – rather more that would be needed on an average holiday – and to store that number of books at home one would need not so much a bookcase as a library!
With on-line publishing gone are the days of piles of unsold books gathering dust and the sneer on so-called vanity publishing is disappearing. With well-respected newspapers like the Chicago Tribune starting to change their attitude on reviewing self-published books (as reported recently by the BBC), the time has come to look again at this form of publication.
Increasing opportunities are presenting themselves and, alongside the familiar Lulu, Smashwords and Amazon’s CreateSpace offer even more possibilities.
Far from being considered vain, the self-published author is seen by Julia Keller, the Tribune’s Pulitzer Prize-winning cultural critic, as ‘an entrepreneur, an energetic soul determined to forge her or his own destiny in the cultural world.’
As John Locke told the BBC:
‘We’re in the stages of a complete transition. Self-published authors were made to feel second rate, and ridiculed. It’s perhaps the only industry where that takes place. More and more e-readers, some at budget prices, are coming into the market. When I went into the insurance business and put up my own money, nobody considered it a ‘vanity’ investment. But when I had the courage and belief in myself to write my own books and publish them, I was labelled as a vanity author – someone who couldn’t measure up. Now, the playing field has levelled because of the access to electronic media.’
With the changes in attitude, perhaps the time has come to take another look at on-line publishing, as self-publication is slowly being seen as not so vain after all.
— Ida Jones