Barriers to self-publishing. Crumbling. • 8 April 2010 • The SnowBlog

Barriers to self-publishing. Crumbling.

Would it be fun to make a list of all the reasons you couldn't or shouldn't self-publish in 1950 and then check that against an updated list for 2010? I mean, I don't even know how a novel was typeset back then, but I'm fairly sure it couldn't be done on the same bit of technology used to write the manuscript (i.e. a typewriter or a fountain pen). And how was it delivered to the printers? Hmm, I don't know that either. Likewise cover art - though I assume that was done with photographic plates of some kind. Anyway, the point is, that a person these days could write a book and then get someone to typeset it, design a cover and produce print-ready PDFs without spending much money at all. They could even get it printed by, say, Lulu. But what to do with it after that? Even listing it on Amazon is a pain because how are you going to distribute stock to them and sort out the paperwork? So, phew, still a few reasons to involve a publisher. Unless e-books take off. I mention all this because it's just got a bit easier to go the e-book route. Bibliocore will put your book up on Apple's iBookstore, ready for iPad owners to buy it. And they'll even let you keep the royalties. So what does that leave for publishers to do that it's tricky to do for yourself? 1) Decide whether the book is any good or not. Though perhaps the first wave of readers could do that in a pinch. (Might authors give away the first 200 copies of their book for that reason?) 2) Market the book. What else am I missing? I mean it might be nice if someone proof-read the thing, but an author could pay an outside proof-reader to do that just the way a publisher currently does. What else?


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