August 30, 2011

Diversify

            So.  Hmmm.  Well there’s no way around it.  Today you almost got a rant.  Almost, that is, until in searching for ammunition for the rant (a rant requires substantiation) I found a breath of fresh air that wasn’t only a result of the tail end of Irene.

As you know, I have self-published my two books using CreateSpace.  I have also e-published these books.  I have been very satisfied with this arrangement.  Any success I have or any success I don’t have is attributable to my own efforts (or lack thereof) and I like it that way.  It is, for me, an acceptable arrangement.

That said, I have watched with some sadness the increasingly strident tone of the “traditional” publishing industry and writer's associations with regard to those of us who self-publish.

In the first instance there are professional organizations which consider a writing professional only those who have been published by a traditional publisher.  Therefore, if I am a self-published author who has sold 10,000 copies of my self-published book LOVE ON THE LAWN, I would still not be able to be a General Member of the Romance Writers of America. 

In the second instance there are various and sundry agents (yes I know they make their money shopping their clients’ books to traditional publishers) who continue to denigrate those authors who self-publish as somehow sub-standard writers.

But I have been a bit encouraged by agents who are branching out to find new ways to assist their clients who want to self-publish and e-publish.

I remember fondly the movie “A Majority of One,” and especially the line from that movie that should be the mantra of anyone working in a changing  industry.  The very New York Jewish mother of the American trade attaché in Japan (Rosalind Russell) says to the (oddly cast Sir Alec Guinness) Japanese cloth magnate who is mourning the loss of business to cheaper cloth producers that, from her experience in her husband’s business, he must “diversify.”


What encouraged me was a post on the blog of the agents of Bookends ( http://bookendslitagency.blogspot.com/2011/07/bookends-strategy-for-self-epublishing.html ) dated July 25 and announcing:  “After a lot of thought and work, BookEnds has also come up with a plan for how we will work with self-epublishing and what we want to be able to provide our clients, and it's a little bit of everything.” 

This involves supporting their clients in whatever way they want to publish and even providing the clients services to help the client e-publish.

Their blog post announcing their new venture dated July 25th of this year has, to date, generated 169 comment, some of them a bit vituperative.

I admire Bookend’s boldness in branching out and I hope to see more of this inventiveness in the future.

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