Mick Rooney has a great post up at the Independent Publishing Magazine: Is self-publishing creating a hierarchical community for its authors?
So what’s bugging me about self-publishing now? Aren’t we experiencing a self-publishing boom with little to complain about?
There is an increasing hierarchy developing in the self-publishing community and it shows no sign of disappearing anytime soon. It’s the hierarchy of the true savvy self-publishers and those authors who choose an assisted self-publishing service. I’ve even witnessed the line in the sand drawn between authors who have their own publishing imprint name and block of ISBNs registered with Bowker/Nielsen, and the authors who choose to self-publish through some form of assisted service. What’s more, the loudest and sometimes most influential voices leading the whole community seem happy to see this two-tier hierarchical society continue. Much of it is directed by what I referred to above as The Rise of the Publishing Experts—a band of publishing professionals and bloggers happy to earn a day-to-day living from selling advice and publishing services to all self-published authors, but publicly and strongly espousing one particular route over another. But more to the point—presenting and misrepresenting it as the right and only way to self-publish. At the heart of this dichotomy is that there exists an absolute right or wrong path to self-publishing—a similarly elitist attitude perpetrated for decades by those within established mainstream publishers against self-publishing, per se….
There is no one right or wrong way to self-publish; no one size fits all—no our way or the highway. Every author writes a different book, and equally, authors have different levels of expectations, measures of what success means, and very definitely different levels of creative, technical and marketing ability. What works for one may not work for another. While there are right and wrong things to do when self-publishing a book, especially if you want to produce a professional looking book; the process is still a learning curve which usually results in your subsequent books improving each time around. It isn’t a mathematical equation with set numbers and letters and only one answer.