Back in January, before this class started, here and here, I blogged about SmartBooks, Lulu, and blogging as self-publishing. Now, writes if:book, self-publishing has moved into Borders:
Borders, in partnership with Lulu.com, has launched a comprehensive personal publishing platform, enabling anyone to design and publish their own (print) book and have it distributed throughout the Borders physical and online retail chain.
Self-publishing, vanity press, or lowering the publishing bar? If:book writes
It’s curious how “vanity publishing” as a cultural category seems to have a very clear relationship with the print book but a far more ambiguous one with the digital.
[G]enerally speaking, it is something we’ve looked down on. Blogs, MySpace, personal web pages and the like arise out of a different set of socio-economic conditions. The barriers to publication are incredibly low (digital divide notwithstanding), and so authorship online is perceived differently than in print, even if it still arises out of the same basic need to communicate. It feels more like simply taking part in a conversation, participating in a commons. One is not immediately suspicious of the author’s credibility in quite the same way as when the self-financed publication is in print.
The print market that makes a vanity of self-publishing is changing, which could open up new niches for freelancers, artists, academics and pros. If:book concludes with
All the world’s a vanity press and we have to learn to make sense of what it produces.
Where are you, as digital pros in training, as students, as professionals on the rise, with digital publishing?