Tag Archives: WSJ

Publishing vs Self-Publishing or Authors vs Publishers


In an article on self-publishing, the publisher of Portfolio, Penguin’s business book imprint, as well as Sentinel, wrote:

“The greatest challenge facing a new writer is to find readers, not to finish and print a book. Self-publishing has made the shelves even more crowded, both, virtual and physical. The obstacles to being noticed are even more forbidding, not less. In a world where anyone can upload a Word doc and call it a book, it’s more valuable than ever to have experts curate the works that are really worthy of a reader’s attention.”

(BTW: This above article excerpt had an error that I corrected! So much for curate/editing…)


Read which comments this article received:

 “Curate is an interesting term.  In my 20 years in traditional publishing I experienced very little ‘curating’.  I had books thrown into production with no editing.  I had publicity departments never return a phone call.  I also was a NY Times, WSJ, PW bestselling author, so I wasn’t some schmuck.  Yes, 99.5% of people self-publishing will fail.  But many people in traditional publishing will be looking for jobs soon because they just don’t get the digital revolution.  Agency pricing is a classic example of that. “

Laurel Saville:
Yeah, maybe, but these curators get it wrong all the time. Let’s remember how many famous authors, including Poe, Woolfe and Whitman, who self-published in order to get noticed by those same curators.  The curators told me I had a great book, the writing was “as good as it gets”, but they still wouldn’t pick it up.  If I hadn’t self-published, I never would have been noticed and then picked up by AmazonEncore myself.  Sometimes self-publishing is a means to a different end. In my case and many others, it was totally worth it.

T. More
Self-publishing is the direct line between author and reader, and most of the “gatekeepers” of traditional publishing don’t know good books. I would rather self-publish, sell books and reap most of the profits than give in to the model which has blocked literary classics from being published sooner, and caused other authors to commit suicide only to be published post mortem and hit the NY Times Bestseller list too late.



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