Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Lord Helps Those Who Help Themselves

If you've heard it once, you've heard it a million times. It's almost impossible to get your manuscript published.

So why not do it yourself?

Bring up that option and you'll be told that you don't have the skills and knowledge needed to market your product and get it in bookstores.

How about starting up your own publishing company?

If you're in Chicago, you can sign up for a course in independent publishing at DePaul University.

Like all well-conceived continuing education programs, the course will be taught by two men who know what they're talking about. Jonathan Messinger and Zach Dodson founded independent publisher featherproof Books in 2005, and the small press is showing success.

According to the course description, the students will learn all about publishing, from editing to financing. You'll end up with a certificate in publishing and then you can start up your own indie press with the benefit of knowing how to do it.

Is this the wave of the future? As publishing houses restrict their product to the tried and true, will creative authors turn to the do-it-yourself option to get their words out to the public?


Aeneas said...

Yes, self publishing (or independant publishing as I like to call it, a-la indi films and record labels) are the way of the future, that's what I have been finding out. Did you know that BookExpoAmerica now has a special section for authors/self-published? Of course, getting a booth to display your pride and joy is... pricey to say the least, but here we are--even at BEA.

O hAnnrachainn said...

I read an article somewhere recently in which the author bemoaned the blockbuster mentality of the big publishing houses.

So authors bypass the big publishers and put out their own work, and it's not only BEA that's bending to the trend. Publishers Weekly is going to offer a listing service for independents.

All it takes is money. Now, where do I get the cash?

Aeneas said...

I know (or knew... since I neglected her for two years) an editor at Harper Collins (she's now Editing Director or some such title; obviously I'm not in mood to cultivate her, it's completely useless) and she bemoaned to ME that the publishing business, where you nurtured authors, has changed and is nothing like it used to be.

So, Publisher's Weekly has a section for independants? Do you have any info how one gets a book reviewed by them? Yeah... I know. Dream on.

O hAnnrachainn said...

The right amount of money can buy anything, even a review in PW. It's like the publisher's habit of paying Borders or B&N to display a book on the front table to push sales.

There's just no money in publishing, but the hedge funds who bought the publishers are trying to squeeze blood out of turnips and they've spoiled a unique business.

Until we're discovered, and then everything will be made right again.