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Author Topic: 9 Signs Self-Publishing Is out of Control  (Read 3039 times)
wraith808
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« on: May 15, 2012, 10:48:14 AM »

The conversation at The Graveyard Shift has a better title - 9 Signs Self-Publishing Is Out of Control

http://www.leelofland.com...-control-opinion-or-fact/

Interesting blog post- but more interesting on The Graveyard Shift site- especially the conversation going on.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2013, 04:03:18 PM by mouser; Reason: edited to remove link to questionable site » Logged

Carol Haynes
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« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2012, 10:53:23 AM »

Been my impression for a while ... having said that I have just completed a creative writing course so you wait for my magnificent octopus soon!
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Renegade
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« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2012, 10:56:13 AM »

I'm all for self-publishing. Not everyone will make it big, but so what. It chips away at the publishing establishment. And that, is a very good thing. smiley
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CWuestefeld
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« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2012, 11:08:02 AM »

I'm actually working (slowly) on a publication myself. I've got one book so far, about 15 years ago, through a "real" publisher, but I don't see that they offer very much to the writer now.

We'll see if the OP's article changes my mind...
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eleman
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« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2012, 12:04:21 PM »

It seems they took the pains to provide a raison d'etre for the good old publishers.
The efforts of gatekeepers on the verge of obsolescence are always funny to watch, but tragic to observe.

Yeah, what if it is a bubble? Will it collapse and take down the world economy with it? Seriously...

Too many people have their own mouths and talk freely using them. Such people should also be restrained.  tongue
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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2012, 01:35:26 PM »

Well, it is a bubble, and it is creaking, but it hasn't quite crashed yet.

Somewhere in here is the other side of the copyright mess. Copyright is, you know, about the stark raving fear that someone might copy your work for free and deprive you of a sale! (Dramatization: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBWkZ4JykTo  )

Like - you know - where is the copyright clearance for that online colleges forum giving permission for the graveyard shift to reprint that entire opinion piece in its entirety?

So their argument here is ... wait for it ... "that these books will not sell enough copies!" Clearly that's because of the 100% piracy rate by 20 million readers, right? Or ... not.

Bleh I'm becoming a grouch. : /
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mahesh2k
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« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2012, 01:48:50 PM »

What self publishing needs is a public filter system something like DIgg or reddit used to provide until corporates used it to sneak their stuff in. That if handled properly then  it is easy to filter the self published books. That sort of platform will have it's pros and cons but atleast it will filter good or bad books to some extent. Sites like goodread started with that intention and later sidetracked with publishing house books.
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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2012, 01:58:28 PM »

What self publishing needs is a public filter system something like DIgg or reddit used to provide until corporates used it to sneak their stuff in. That if handled properly then  it is easy to filter the self published books. That sort of platform will have it's pros and cons but atleast it will filter good or bad books to some extent. Sites like goodread started with that intention and later sidetracked with publishing house books.

You nailed it. Yes, to a degree, the old school pub houses DID do a filter function, as well as a copyedit function. However they "packaged" all that stuff into the distribution side, which is now something we *don't* need.

My current guess on a theme is a Rotten Tomatoes for books.
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superboyac
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« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2012, 02:51:39 PM »

I'm all for self-publishing. Not everyone will make it big, but so what. It chips away at the publishing establishment. And that, is a very good thing. smiley
Yes!
What's the complaint?  That people have to wade through the pile of nonsense to find the good stuff?  That's a pretty lame complaint.  Does Oprah HAVE to tell you something is good before you read it?  If that's the publishing house's attitudes, they can shove it.  I'm perfectly confident in my ability to decide whether I like something or not.
If having a formal institution approve of and filter the content is good, why are the movies Hollywood is churning out so remarkably bad and boring?
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superboyac
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« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2012, 02:55:35 PM »

From Coming Apart:
Quote
In the corporate and financial worlds, the CEOs and financial heavy hitters whose actions affect the national economy are limited to the very largest and most strategically placed institutions. And so it goes throughout the narrow elite. The number of influential players is surprisingly small even for a country as sprawling and decentralized as the United States.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2012, 02:57:27 PM »

Simple - the 'self-publishing' repository websites could work on the principle that unless more than 50 or 100 copies is sold per month it gets pulled. They could give new publications 6 months to achieve that level of sales. It won't make much difference for people who genuinely want to self publish via their own website but will prune the pointless dross that no one wants to read.

Its effectively what happens on a larger scale with real publishing - once sales drop the printing stops.

The trouble, as I see it, is not that real publishers are dying in the new world because of self publishing but that the mega-corps are effectively ousting them - eventually Amazon, Apple, et al will become the new world publishers with even less help and support for authors as they establish a leech-like grip on authors.
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wraith808
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« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2012, 03:44:11 PM »

Simple - the 'self-publishing' repository websites could work on the principle that unless more than 50 or 100 copies is sold per month it gets pulled. They could give new publications 6 months to achieve that level of sales. It won't make much difference for people who genuinely want to self publish via their own website but will prune the pointless dross that no one wants to read.

I'd like it better if this was a ping of some sort, rather than a determination by the masses that this piece of work shouldn't be available, i.e. your publication has not sold very much.  Please confirm/resubmit to keep it in the catalog.

The trouble, as I see it, is not that real publishers are dying in the new world because of self publishing but that the mega-corps are effectively ousting them - eventually Amazon, Apple, et al will become the new world publishers with even less help and support for authors as they establish a leech-like grip on authors.

To a certain extent this happens, but without lock-in, it will just mean that there is the normal indie vs. mainstream stratification.  Look at Smashwords.  Within 4 years this one indie outlet has published what all of the print publishers do in one year.  That's quite an accomplishment, especially considering that it is still gaining steam, and still doesn't restrict the users use of the publications they publish.
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« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2012, 04:15:47 PM »

I think you guys are on the verge of throwing out one of the greatest things about ebooks. Since ebooks take up no physical space (unlike dead trees in a b&m store), it's possible to have essentially unlimited inventory. There's no reason for a book to go out of "print" ever again.

I do most of my reading -- pleasure reading, anyway -- digitally. And the thing that has more than once forced me to seek "alternative" sources for books is that the rights holder hasn't released the book digitally. Keeping customers from buying books causes piracy.

Surely there's a way to de-emphasize unpopular books from discovery while browsing that isn't so heavy-handed that it puts things out of reach.
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Deozaan
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« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2012, 05:08:12 PM »

I don't get what the big deal is about having lots of crappy e-books out there?

There are a lot of things available for me to buy when I visit the dollar store, or the mall, or the grocery store. I don't insist that these places stop stocking things I'm not interested in.

Or perhaps a better analogy: There's a lot of crappy, "self-published" software on the internet. There is also a lot of really good, yet fairly obscure/unknown "self-published" software on the internet. What do you care if it sucks? If you don't want it, don't download it.

Same thing with e-books or digital music albums or digital movies/videos, etc. Ensuring quality for every single option isn't as important when there are plenty of alternatives to choose from.
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barney
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« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2012, 07:48:58 PM »

having said that I have just completed a creative writing course so you wait for my magnificent octopus soon!

Octopus?  I would expect a penguin  Wink.
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« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2012, 08:14:38 PM »

Simple - the 'self-publishing' repository websites could work on the principle that unless more than 50 or 100 copies is sold per month it gets pulled. They could give new publications 6 months to achieve that level of sales. It won't make much difference for people who genuinely want to self publish via their own website but will prune the pointless dross that no one wants to read.

Its effectively what happens on a larger scale with real publishing - once sales drop the printing stops.


That would kill scientific publications as many are only read by a handful of people, but form the foundation of later work.

I'm sure you didn't mean that though. But setting levels wouldn't really benefit anyone, except perhaps the distributor.

Some books are very difficult to publish, even through self-publishing, and really need someone with a bit of muscle to throw their support behind. Some people have been thrown in prison for self-publishing their work. e.g. Fritz Springmeier (I've seen an old printing of his book selling on Amazon for hundreds of dollars - they're now down to less than $200 because it's back in print through Infowars).


The trouble, as I see it, is not that real publishers are dying in the new world because of self publishing but that the mega-corps are effectively ousting them - eventually Amazon, Apple, et al will become the new world publishers with even less help and support for authors as they establish a leech-like grip on authors.

Amazon and Apple are not really good for publishing overall. Apple is a well-known, belligerent censor, and Amazon is well-known for being ruthless. I have faith in that smaller publishers and self-publishing will continue for a long time to offer alternative perspectives. The philosophical perspective of many small publishers will prevent Amazon or Apple from swallowing them up, because neither Big A can stomach what a lot of people think.

But, I think you're right for a large sector of publishing. The Big A's will eat up most. Yay. Aren't we lucky...  undecided
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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2012, 05:49:49 AM »


I feel that the original article is nearly pure troll. It purposely mashes up half truths to try to confuse us into going back to the old ways - which benefit the big conglomerates.

I agree the whole point of digital files is that there is essentially no such thing as stock limits (beyond data corruption blunders.) So combining another meme, we shouldn't ever care if a copy EVER gets sold! Want to know why? It's that other modern concept, the Long Tail. There might be only seven people in the world who want to read a book on something like, oh, Mathematical I Ching prayers. That doesn't mean we should punish the book for the fact that none of the seven target audience members have found it yet.

So yes, you need a *good* review system, with a couple of different metrics. But don't go back to threatening to pull books if they "don't meet the bar". Just sort the selection by rating, and that obscure I Ching book will sit there happily at No Reviews Yet.
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