Two articles concerned with the question of the artistic possibilities of self-publishing a book caught my attention this week.
Artistic Publishing and Snobbery
The first was a testimonial by Mark Bastable published in The Telegraph and titled How I overcame snobbery to self-publish an e-book. In it, Bastable gives a variably convincing account of his decision to self-publish his fourth book, after having gone the “proper” route for the last three (ie. the traditional publishing model). What I found most interesting, however, was the paragraph where he rattles off all the decisions he had to make when he went DIY:
“So, this month I launched a novel into the e-market,” he writes, “the culmination of several months’ slog, proofing the text, writing the blurb, doing the cover design (or, actually, paying someone to), getting the internal text layout right (or, actually, paying someone to), developing and launching a website (or, actually – yeah, that too). All the stuff that a publisher used to do, the e-author has to do for himself. Or pay someone to.”
Whew. It’s always sobering to see a list like that in print and be reminded of the immense amount of work self-publishing requires. But Bastable makes the case for the silver lining: message control. From the writing to the editing, to the marketing, you’re in the driver’s seat, and you get to call the shots.
Perspectives on Artistic Expression
I found an inspiring echo to this book talk in a piece by Jason
Probably not. Boog nails it, I think, when he goes on to write about how films like this can only exist outside the normal system of production:
“Writers spend too much time arguing about the goldmine potential of self-publishing. When we talk about indie books, why does money dominate the conversation? Instead, we should worry about the artistic freedom that creators like Shane Carruth have found by taking the DIY route.”
I like what Bastable was saying about having total (