November 15, 2012
Thoughts: On Self-Pub Boom
I need to get this off my chest and ask if any one thinks like I do.
Publishing is being forced to transition. Change is supposed to be always good. Part of our jobs as trusted bloggers is to adapt and embrace these changes. I mean, more books, more options, more writers out there fulfilling their dreams...? Great, right? As a writer myself, I often look at successful self-pub authors and think "wow, well that's inspiring!" and feel I have options now. Look at how many self-pub writers have a deal with a publisher! So many books will be re-published by a big name! So many self-pub books nominated for the Goodreads Awards this year!
But as a reader?
Not that I don't want more awesome books to read. Not that it's not obvious that some self-pub writers have some gripping and intense stories to tell. But... I'm not just a reader. I'm a lover of language, a lover of words. I love the art of putting words together. I love when great authors blow my mind with their writing. I love how some authors can create so much from these simple symbols put together. It's like magic. It touches you.
So when I find myself divided between absolutely adoring a book that has more grammar errors than correct sentences? My soul hurts. My love of stories threatens to overshadow my love of words. I do not want that.
Where will our language be when self-pubs have reached new levels? How positive this new era to our love of literature? A free pass for spelling errors just like the 140 characters has? Do we just throw away grammar and usage guides and proper syntax so that we have more reading options? Wouldn't this be extremely important in YA/MG specifically because that's when kids build their habits?
Please do not misunderstand this post and think I'm generalizing. I'm sure lots of self-pub writers can produce a very well written book. Will it ever be the same as when it's scrutinized and proofread infinite times by a big publisher name? Even when they are, I have found mistakes. It can happen.
Should we just blindly support self-publishing? Will all the authors who go through a regular publishing process still get a different recognition? These are all my doubts as we face this new reality. I would love to get other opinions.