Saturday, 2 October 2010

The Nex

Tim Pratt has been making my Monday's better since March this year with his serialised novel Broken Mirrors. It's now finished (boo!) and Marla Mason fans are attempting to persuade him to continue self-publishing for book 6 (yay!). While waiting with bated breath on the next Marla installment, I now have his new self-published novel The Nex to save my Monday's once again.

He has a comprehensive review of his experiences self-publishing for donations on the Broken Mirrors website, and it has gotten me wondering about self-publication and online creative writing.

I've read on many author blogs and book blogs some throwaway comments on self-publishing, something I had until recently attributed to excentrics like William Blake, or disgruntled Modernist poets publishing magazines to have arguments with one another in print. I am, for the most part, on the consumer side of the publishing industry and have only a small amount of experience of the other side, gained mainly through conversations with friends who have worked in publishing and the small University press at work. However, the impression I have of self-publishing has been a predominantly negative one, with self-published auothors being either berated for being so conceited that they can side step the regular publishing industry, or pitied for paying to publish their work with Print on Demand services.

The sucess of Broken Mirrors, realising that I bought a book published through a POD scheme and a friend's experimental efforts in self-publishing through an anonymus blog has made me wonder; why does self-publishing have such a bad rep?

After doing some research, it turns out that it isn't excentrics, disgruntled poets, ego maniacs or saps who self-publish. Beatrix Potter, Mark Twain and G P Taylor are just some of the writers who have published their first novels themselves. With the move to digital printing, e-publishing and and increasing amount of author self promotion being expected from traditional publishing houses, doesn't it make sense to self-publish?

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