Hachette Memo & Indie Publishing, Pt. 2

More commentary on the leaked Hachette memo that purports to justify why traditional publishers remain relevant.

Pull Quote #3 (Konrath-Eisler)

In fact, self-publishing has a pretty simple definition: it means you keep the rights to your book and publish it yourself using distributor/retailers like Amazon, Apple, B&N, Kobo, Smashwords, and Sony, typically retaining 70% of the cover price instead of the 17.5% offered by legacy publishers (for digital editions). This isn’t what “most people” mean when they say self-publishing; it’s what everybody means when they say self-publishing. If Hachette really doesn’t know what self-publishing is, its executives are in worse trouble than even their memo reveals.

Here is what I don’t understand: why the constant references to self-publishing? Self-publishing reinforces negative connotations of vanity, and by extension vanity press. In contrast, indie publishing not only avoids the grammatically stick hyphenation, but also serves as an accurate description of what authors do when they successfully publish their books. As Amir Said observed about a month ago, folks refer to indie record labels, indie producers and indie filmmakers, and in all of those circumstances, the creators are developing, marketing, and selling works to audiences.

Why should authors who write and publish their own works be denigrated by the term self-publishing, instead of applauded for their entrepreneurial spirit through the term indie publishing? They shouldn’t.

Written by Dr. K Matthew Dames

12/16/2011 at 13:15

%d bloggers like this: