Self-publishing is the new vanity? or the new practice?

Today is a day for freeness. Over at Zeldman, we have Self-publishing is the new blogging. An ~750 word history of digital publishing and distribution, leading (not inevitably) back to print –

Enter Lulu, all slinky hips and clodhoppers. Self-publishing is the new blogging. No more compromises. No more external deadlines. No more heavy-handed editors and ham-fisted copyeditors. No more teachers, lots more books.

I made a similar argument for self-publishing a few weeks ago, and at least one local author has already taken up the trend.

Is self-publishing vanity or professional practice? Mike Peter Reed comments

When Walt Disney was self-promoting and self distributing his short cartoons … that was vanity? Of course it was. Professionals are just amateurs who don’t give up.

Or perhaps necessarily vain professional practice?

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3 Comments

Filed under Freelancing, Publishing

3 responses to “Self-publishing is the new vanity? or the new practice?

  1. In the next year to fifteen months I’m going to be loading 4 novels onto my blog–I think this is the best way to promote my work without paying someone else to print and publish my book for me. The new technology allows for more vanity writers,
    amateurs who haven’t paid their dues and honed their craft to professional level and think they can somehow “jump the queue”. It’s a depressing development to those of us who have put years of effort into mastering our craft and get dumped in the slush pile with wannabes and hobbyists…

  2. Well Cliff, out of the three possible categories you’ve given me (vanity writers/amatuers, wannabes, or hobbyist) I can’t tell if I should laugh or be insulted. Maybe both? A slush pile is a slush pile as far as I can see it (regardless of electronics or not), and if it takes a little bit of money to get my book out there (on amazon even) and some of my own elbow grease, I’ll force my way out of the pile.

    You seem to be looking down on the new technology from a point that I’m not sure even exists…that of the luddite master writer. You don’t seem very positive on the new technology, and you look down your nose (seemingly) at those of us who are willing to try it out. Yes, I appear to lack the years of “mastering” the craft that you have, but I’m uncertain why you yourself don’t “jump the queue” to share your 733+ 5killz (in the parlance of our times).

    Unless it’s professional jealousy that new venues of publication are open for the writers of today?

  3. Pingback: blogging, the net, and vanity publishing « Weblogs and Wikis Daybook

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