e_moon60 (e_moon60) wrote,

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Writing: Self-publishing v. Vanity publishing.

An excellent presentation on the Writer Beware blog of the blurred distinctions between self-publishing and vanity publishing that have arisen in the digital age, and why this matters to writers considering either.

It is to the monetary advantage of scam publishers--and some undercapitalized small and hobby publishers--to tell unpublished writers that they deserve to be published and that they're being unfairly excluded by those nasty traditional publishers (with the help of such writers' organizations as MWA, RWA, Ninc, and SFWA.) They make their profit by preying on the dreams of the unpublished and creating an atmosphere of resentment and paranoia that keeps the unpublished writers from listening to and learning from successful professional writers.

It is to the (temporary) emotional advantage of unpublished writers to believe the scam publishers, and to blame someone else for the fact that they are not (yet) bestselling writers.
In the short run, it's much pleasanter to think it's a plot by NYC publishers to exclude real talent and publish only commercial hacks, or the writers they already have, and that successful writers are trying to ruin the careers of talented new writers, and that writers' organizations exist to protect publishers and the current publishing paradigm. All you have to do is send your stuff to someone who really appreciates it (and the check or credit card number you send them.)

Strauss makes that clear in her post and yet...and yet there will always be those who want to be fooled, who want to accept the conspiracy-theory view of the world, about writing as about everything else.
Tags: the writing life
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