Sunday, February 1, 2009

Self-Publishing as the Next Phase?

The New York Times had an interesting article, this past week, on the rise of the self publishing industry. It outlines how this industry has contributed to the boom in the number of books published every year, and how the profits of these companies have shot through the roof.

I, of course, believe that, in a significant way, the future of the literary magazine will be found online, it maybe hasn't reached it's full potential. But, in many ways, where the literary magazine goes, is where a segment of the industry will go. Maybe it's a narrow-minded view, based on me working with InDigest, but I frequently think about the future of publishing in terms of what the internet has to offer literature. I don't often think about self-publishing as a modicum of the future of the industry. Yet, this is certainly something that has gained prominence, and affordability, through the internet. But what does this offer the industry at large? A much larger number of books to compete with? A new avenue for authors to get their work seen? A larger pile of crap for the readers of the world to wade through?

My initial reaction to this article was largely the same as the author of the article. It's interesting that this attracts so many writers and artists, but it doesn't really offer a lot in terms of excitement for it's future as an art form. I would never go to a site that offers self-published books looking for something to read. But maybe I'm missing something here, maybe there is some validity in this development, but I'm still not seeing it.

It's an interesting development and it's worth thinking about.

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