Last night while going to sleep, I had an epiphany to write a book and developed a plot for it. A classic love story where the protagonist thinks he is a guinea pig and desires a hog.
Does it not sound bizarre? But I had the audacity to think this will end up getting published and this thought occurred only because how handy self-publishing has become these days.
Does this mean I’ll never have a good idea and my self-published book would never be worthy of winning awards?
Foremost, you must understand that book business is under a state of storm and turmoil. The digitization of the book publishing process, the downturn of the economy, the need for change in business practices that publishers have been avoiding for years, and the increasing diversity of the industry have completely changed how books get published.
It is arguable whether the book business has become more about business and less about the art of writing.
Self-publishing changing the dynamics of books business
Shashank Shekhar, author of Undergraduate Love Stories, says, “Both publishers and authors have a stake in self-publishing. I’ve noticed that in order to earn more money, they take up more work which reduces the quality.”
According to one estimate, there are 1.7 million book titles that are self-published each year. This number does not include all self-published authors, since many of them don’t use trackable ISBNs (International Standard Book Number).
On the hardships of self-publishing, Shashank Shekhar says, “As a self-published author, I have realized that all the responsibilities fall upon the shoulder of the author. From marketing to editing and formatting, everything is done by the author. At times, publishing appears even bigger task than writing.” Are you then a writer or marketeer?
The variety of books that is available in the market is prodigious but most of them have charred the purpose of writing since all the gatekeepers have been thrown out and all the books are getting published as long as the author themselves like their books. Is this not vanity?
Do we really not need publishing houses or as some like to call them gatekeepers? But one cannot stop but wonder if the gatekeepers are partial.
Imagine you are an amateur chair maker who makes chair. You start learning the technicalities of making a chair and in the process, you understand the difficulties as a manufacturer but you continue the process and with determination and persistence you complete your first chair. It wobbles a bit and feels hard on the bum. You try to sell it but all decline your offer. So, are you going to sell it yourself or make another chair, and see if you can make a better one?
Deepty Victor, author of She: An Anthology, says, “Since traditional publishing houses have the majority of the industry’s power and influence, every writer should retain self-publishing in addition to sending their work to them.”