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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    The Monsoon desk rains down on the pros and cons of self-publishing

    Self-publishing may come with some downfalls but it can act as a great asset to authors, especially those who have been turned down by traditional publishers. Lisa Genova, author of “Still Alice,” made it on the New York Times Best Seller List in 2009, but many people don’t know that Genova had several doors slammed in her face by publishers. If Genova hadn’t taken matters into her own hands, people wouldn’t even recognize the title. Self-publishing allows us to see authentic stories that traditional publishers wouldn’t dare let us read before. Breaking down boundaries that traditional publishers have set probably does come with some consequences, but these are risks I’d like to see made.

    -Alyssa Reilly

    The book publishing industry and the music recording industry are suffering the same fate for the same reason: they are losing money every year, and it’s the Internet’s fault. The Recording Industry Association of America decided that online piracy was to blame, and executed Gestapo-level scare tactics to combat it. It didn’t work, however, since iTunes and the outdated business model of the recording industry are much more to blame than illegal downloading. Unfortunately for the publishing industry, they use the same business model, so it was inevitable that publishers would lose ground to E-books and Kindles. This generates a vicious cycle, where publishers are afraid to risk financing books by first-time authors, just as the recording industry is afraid to risk money on original new artists.Just as indie bands are turning to self-production and home studios, new authors are turning to self-publishing. While the transition from traditional, corporate-funded marketing and distribution to self-publishing is not a quick or easy one, fortunes will improve for the authors themselves. More of the money goes in the authors’ pockets, they retain greater control and the people pay less for the product. This is capitalism at its finest: a Darwinistic elimination of overcomplicated corporate meddling that leaves the artist and consumer better off than before.

    -Brenton Woodward

    Self-publishing is an interesting monster. In theory it sounds great, giving authors a medium to get their work out into the world when they otherwise might not be able to. At the same time, however, there’s a huge stigma looming over self-publishers: a lot of them suck. Without publishers to weed out the subpar, buyers can find anything from the next literary masterpiece to horrible “Twilight” fanfiction — “50 Shades of Grey,” anyone? It’s risky as a self-publisher or a buyer, but there’s potential. A good writer shouldn’t avoid self-publishing if it’s their only option. He or she just has to understand the difficulty of standing out amid the garbage: Be a good marketer, and that’ll help.

    -Jason Krell

    Convenience seems to slip its way into everything these days. In the last decade or so, it has become far too easy to publish books simply by writing and clicking. Not that writing a book is easy — writing more than 10 pages is a serious challenge. However, it takes much more effort to write a book for a specific market that people actually care about. Publishers aren’t just checking submissions for their specific market, they’re also checking to see if the book is worth reading. The job of the publisher is to make sure only the best books get into the hands of readers. Self-published books can be full of errors, littered with unfinished ideas and open for improvement. Then again, so can text messages. Maybe the buildup of convenience is just the new American way.

    -Greg Gonzales

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