Thursday, December 08, 2011

BitchBuzz: Penguin's Vanity Press

Great night out with colleagues at the tapas restaurant and then the French bistro. It's supposed to get very cold tomorrow, so an excuse to hide inside. At least we're not getting the much worse storms that are hitting Scotland -- take care up there!

Today's column takes up the latest cynical move to fleece would-be writers:

Vanity-Publishing vs Self-Publishing

By K.A. Laity

The digital revolution continues unabated, or perhaps it's just the grumble heard round the world as writers feel their words devalued again.

Penguin started up their very own "self-publishing" business. The "self" is optional, of course. As the coverage in The Wall Street Journal describes it:
In a sign that major book publishers are now recognizing the potential of the digital self-publishing industry, Penguin Group (USA) on Wednesday is launching a service to help writers publish their own books. For a fee of between $99 and $549, plus a cut of any sales revenue, Penguin's subsidiary Book Country will offer an array of tools—ranging from professional e-book conversion to a cover creator—to help a writer make their work available through digital book outlets and print-on-demand services.
So, it's the kind of "self-publishing" that you actually pay for, between $99 and $549. This is the kind of thing that's generally known as vanity publishing, not self-publishing. It's fine—there are all kinds of reasons to pay for publishing like wanting to see your work in print even if no publisher wants to print it. It might be too edgy and revolutionary for them, or it just might be crap, but you're an adult. You can make choices...

Read the rest over at BBHQ.

I have a couple of acceptances, but they're a ways off: one is reprint news for "Fear and Loathing in Deptford" which hasn't really got enough of an outing, I think. One of my favourites anyway, but that usually means it's something that only makes me laugh. There have been a couple of reviews for It's a Curse but as one was written by someone close to me, it may not be entirely dispassionate. :-)

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