Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Brave British Authors Taking the Self-Publishing Plunge

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.'

2 comments:

Dan Holloway said...

Thank you kindly for the mention, Kat. It's interesting, at Year Zero I guess we almost started out of frustration that it's impossible for newby writers of literary fiction to find a home. But we have transformed as we've found our individual and collective voice, and now I really don't know how many of us woud take a contract if one was dnagled - I certainly wouldn't. What we have is the freedom to write what we want, edit it how we want, have the covers we want, and market how we want (and if that means live gigs more like rock concerts than readings, complete with T-shirts - which it does - then no one is there to tell us no).

I share my love of books with everyone I know in the publishing industry, so I DO hope they pull through, but the problem they've got is that by the time they are clear of the recession enough to think about restructuring and being proactive, it may well be too late. Not because books are dead but because the exciting stuff is going on outside the mainstream - and is no longer interested when the mainstream comes knocking.

For anyone who doesn't trust the quality of work on offer, all our seven novels at Year Zero are free in full as downloads so you can see if you like them before you buy (see "our books" at http://yearzerowriters.wordpress.com/) . And we have new fiction on site every day, as well as discussions about literature.

Thank you for the write-up. From teh insied it feels like the book world is entering a phase as exciting as the British art scene of the early 90s. We're loving every minute of it

Ms Kitty said...

Glad to be of service.

This is an exciting time to be a writer - any time people take advantage of technology to set them up in small businesses I get all goose-pimply.