America is supposed to be the home of the brave - but there are a lot of British writers taking the plunge into the cold pool of Self-Publishing.
Dragon International Independent Arts is another - hmmm what to call them? Cast of characters, or micro-publishers? I'm really not sure at this point.
Ray of Flogging The Quill is another writer who has a good book that he can't sell because no agent would risk marketing it. "The Vampire Kitty-Cat" is my favorite vampire story because it's funny.
Another co-op that's come from Authonomy.com is Year Zero Writers who seem to lean towards the razor's edge of contemporary literature.
What I find so interesting is they are all top quality writers who normally wouldn't need to resort to Self-Publishing. But the world economy sucks - publishers are huddling in their cubicals - terrified they may be the next to get a pink slip.
I shudder to think how many top-notch editors are tossing fresh new books in favor of finding the next Stephanie Meyers, or god-help-us Laurell K. Hamilton. Worse even than that are the hundreds of editors-turned-agents who are thrashing through their slush-piles also looking for the next SM or LKH to bring to the editors
Like we need more super-sluts or teenage-angst in the Vampire genre?
What readers need are fresh voices, fresh outlooks, fresh stories - but they won't be coming to a bookstore near you. My local bookstore has only the latest Vampire, Neo-Werewolf or some kind of Urban Fantasy.
Though I did find a nice 'fallen angel' book by J.R. Ward and the latest C.L. Wilson 'Tairen Soul' installment I couldn't find anything new by Nora Roberts. She's in the used books, along with Amanda Quick.
But I digress.
From where I sit - next to the fireplace on a chilly wet December day - the British publishing industry is exploding into fragments. Which they can afford to do, because they have national health care. (Oops did it again.) It seems their free market is taking off - because it can, mainly. Which is going to be good for the economy in the long run.
I'm not done poking around yet, so stay tuned. We'll see what develops 'over there' and if it can be transplanted 'over here.'