I was thinking about waiting to post this since it's a holiday weekend and BookExpo America week in NYC. So many people won't be near their computers but I figured why not. This has been in my head waiting patiently to get out. I've been hearing alot about self publishing lately. So, I thought we could talk about it a bit.
Earlier in the week I posted a Women Writers of Color feature by author Kyra Davis. Instead of allowing her Sophie Katz series to come to an end the author plans to look into self publishing. I was suprised but I shouldn't have been. Davis isn't the only author to consider self publishing recently. Author John Edgar Wideman, PW article on his decision to self publish. Author Cory Doctorow is conducting an experiment, With A Little Help. The book will be available in many formats including print form courtesy of Lulu.com.
With publishers only putting advertisting money behind a few titles, more established authors will consider self publishing. This year I read Erica Kennedy's newest release Feminista . I loved it so much I requested in 8 copies. The book made was placed on staff picks, another co-worker blurbed it and it sold out. Hopefully a few mother's got it as a gift. Though imagine how many more sales Feminista could have if only there was some talk behind it.
Yes, I know many many books are published in a year and publishers must be very smart about which titles they back financially. It is a business after all. But, does James Patterson really need another NYT print ad for his newest release?
I am still very wary of self published titles. If not for Zetta Elliott's A Wish After Midnight, which was originally self published, I would not be writing this. I subscribed to something, now every day or so I get emails asking if I want a review copy. All of the books are self published. I've been getting them for about 4 months now. They all look and sound very bad. I have yet to unsubscribe, 1) I don't know where to do that at. 2) If I knew I probably wouldn't, I am still hoping to find one good book.
Ari of Reading in Color, and fellow Color Online contributor has reviewed about 6 self published titles. (Ari, what is the exact number?) She loved A Wish After Midnight and really enjoyed Asleep by Wendy Raven Mcnair. Everything else got a 2 or 2.5 rating.
Would I read or give a self published title a chance? Yes. Though this is what I would need first.
1)If an author is going to self publish, they need to have a presence online. At least a one chapter or two excerpts of the book available to preview. Two excerpts so I know the first one isn't a fluke. If I am going to take a chance on a self published title, I think its only fair that I get a look inside.
2)Spell check and edit please. If you visit my personal blog, you know this is ironic since I am not very good at either. But, my blog is free. When someone sells a product they should do their best to make sure its as good as it can be.
3)Covers that don't look like they've been made at kinkos. I will not look twice at a self published title has a kinko looking cover with crooked wording.
There are probably more things but that's all I can think of right now. Would you consider reading or buying a self published title? Why or why not?