Comments

1
you've just got more self-publishing sales channels, it didn't get easier. you've now got another set of requirements for your content to adhere to.
2
Garrison Keillor is such a spoiled brat.
3
I'm about to self-publish even though I know the ranks of 14-reader novelists I'll be joining... but you know what? If traditional publishing is such an essential piece of the soul of humanity, how about somebody brings back any of the fucking incentives for doing it?

Also, bemoaning the end of the writer's martyrdom? Right. Because clearly you need stamped rejection letters from New York in order to ever experience the glory of being an angsty literary flop; without this there is no such thing as obscurity.
4
99.9% of all publishing is total crap...for me; just as it is for you, Paul, or any other reader. It has always been that way. There is no system or gate-keeper that will (or should) ever change that.

The trenchant question is how much of everyone else's time and resources do you waste while getting your work to the public that is interested. Keilor has grown fat on a system that flagrantly wastes not only paper, gasoline, real estate, and money doing its famously inefficient job of carpet-bombing America's bookstores; but also wastes our time.

I don't need to hear about Garrison Keilor or his work. I need to find Sam Lohmann's poems, which decidedly do NOT suck. (Why, Paul, did you waste our time with Keilor when you could have been alerting us to Lohmann?) But Lohmann publishes his own work. And, wisely, he does so a few at a time, for readers who want the work. His writing is superb; it wil find its public slowly over time—wasting little because there is little to waste—and mean much more to many more readers than do the piled-up remainders of last Fall's brilliant debut novel from Picador (what was that novel, again?)

I hope we can finally drop the false debate about "self-published" versus "real publishing." No one publishes alone, ever; and no group (especially none so self-absorbed and homeostatic as the major publishing houses) is ever free of nepotism or insularity.
5
Much better said, Matthew. It is false debate. Pardon my regressive wrath there.

I was at your address last Saturday morning at Hugo and found it pretty epiphanic.
6
Garrison Keeler is no longer relevant in any medium. Period.
7
My wife published seven novels through Harper Collins and became moderately successful, but like the vast majority of her author friends she just can't seem to get a new contract in these tough times.

A few are using their moderate fame to self e-publish. They can do that because their work is already out there, their reading public knows what to expect, they already have websites in place for the marketing and they interact with their current readers through blogs and direct email contact. Since they get very little revenue "per book" from traditional hard and soft cover sales, they don't have to charge that much (or sell the same 50,000 copies their editors demanded to pay back the advance) to at least make some kind of living.

But how can the completely unknown author convince the public to shell out even a few bucks for an e-novel? There is so much crap out there - with traditional books at least you know someone liked it and looked it over and did some editing. The currently "known" authors may do OK in the short run, but I don't see how self e-publishing will work over time.... We could end up with thousands of "hobby" writers and no true, full time authors. I think that would be a shame.
8
If nobody pays for writing, who will be able to write anything? Keillor's annoying as all hell, but if we suppose that all media is to be free of charge, who will be left to create it?


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