Thursday, December 01, 2011

Self-publishing books not without pitfalls

Michael Finney - ABC News    Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Entertainers can catapult to fame by airing their work on the internet. Now, authors can do the same.
You might be surprised at how many famous authors published their own works, classic writers like James Joyce, Virginia Wolf and Mark Twain. Today, technology offers even more options for self-publishing, but as one father-daughter team found out, there are also many pitfalls.
Les Williams holds a small place in history. Williams is one of the legendary Tuskegee airmen of World War II, the first African Americans ever to serve as U.S. military pilots.
"Prejudice was rampant in everything, not just society, but the military," Williams said.
The airmen fought enemies abroad and bigotry at home. Now, at age 92, Les hopes to tell that story.
"A lot of times, they'll tell you there's not a big enough audience to publish a book about black people," Williams' daughter Penny Williams explained.
Penny helped Les write his memoir titled "Victory," about battling prejudice after he'd risked his life for his country.
"I thought it was going to be easy," Penny said. "But it turned out not to be so easy."
Penny and Les decided to publish the memoir themselves instead of trying to find a willing publisher. It's a route chosen these days by a growing number of aspiring writers who use digital technology and online publishing to get their books into print.
Read the rest here.

Reasons not to self-publish: a defense of small pressesby

Yesterday, Edan Lepucki in The Millions wrote a great piece on the perils of self-publishing and the benefits of working with a small publishing house. She also noted that “the conversation about self-publishing too often ignores the role of independent publishing houses in this shifting reading landscape…. Small presses try things that large, established houses are too huge, and possibly too chickenshit, to even consider.” They also provide that arguably necessary vote of confidence for a first-time author, and promote your novel so you don’t have to personally call and e-mail reviewers pleading them to consider a review; you also don’t have to contact bookstores to make sure they have your title in stock or if they would be interested in you, erm, reading there to promote your book. You’re out of that equation, which can be a problem. As she artfully argues, “I don’t want to be Amazon’s Bitch.” Who would?
Read the rest here.

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