Currently, there’s an interview up with Shelley Lieber on the Smashwords blog, which acts as a better manifesto about the value of self-publishing than has yet to be put on this site. Some nuggets include:
The industry has probably changed more in the past two years than it has in the previous 50 to 75 years. Of all the creative industries, publishing is the most conservative and slowest to change. As technology advanced and became more readily available and affordable, individual artists in every creative field began to take on more responsibility for all areas of their craft. Authors were no exception; however, at first authors did not get the favorable response that film artists or musicians got from their respective industries or from the general public….
Faced with the prospect of spending years trying to get an agent, who then may take yet another year or more trying to find a publisher, who may take another 18 months to produce the book, which may not earn back the advance, ambitious authors looked for other avenues—and found them. People are publishing their own work, and getting their message out to their audiences using the new methods because it’s faster, easier and more effective than the traditional way….
Two things are working for the self-published author: one, is that there’s much more help available to make sure you put out a good book and the quality of self-publishing as a whole is rising. Second, with the limitations acquisition editors are facing—smaller budgets, celebrity authors not being guaranteed successes and memoir writers turning out to be liars and frauds—a “safe” bet is the self-published author who has sold 5,000 to 10,000 books on her own. Suddenly agents and editors are trolling the Internet in search of these self-published authors. Ironically, now successful indie authors are finding themselves being approached by the very publishers wouldn’t even return the SASE two years ago….
Check out the whole interview – one of the best summations of self-publishing you’ll see. Mark Coker, of Smashwords, is at the forefront of the self-publishing movement. Read Self-Publishing Review’s interview with him here.