Why we do it

It’s not just green, but it’s not not just for green that authors are turning to self-publishing and e-books. International digital distribution rights is the mouthful of the moment, and everyone seems to know this. Since going down this path, I’m continually learning about a process that keeps seeming new, that differs significantly from former perceptions as vanity publishing though it is essentially the same thing. Maybe that, too, was a sham:

Much has already been written about the earthquake in conventional publishing caused by these technological advances. The enormous increase in the number of self-published books is one of its primary aftershocks. According to Publishers Weekly, the number of self-published titles in the U.S. jumped from 133,036 in 2010 to 211,269 in 2011. Of these roughly 45 percent were fiction. And some significant proportion of this impressive number must be literary fiction.

By “literary” I mean the kind of novels that vie for the literary prizes, the pool of serious, high-quality fiction out of which emerges the books that last. What does the rise of literary self-publishing mean for the future of literature?

It is no longer possible to dismiss the kind of self-publishing McBurney practises as vanity publishing. The mainstream can no longer claim to be the only quality stream. Self-publishing has simply become too attractive an option.

There are several good reasons a novelist chooses to self-publish:

And she goes on to list them. The thing to notice about this is that it’s working. People are buying e-books. You still have to have a really good story  AND you have to work to get it read and reviewed. Other than, sure, everything has changed.