Thursday, October 21, 2010

Borders, BookBrewer Launch E-Publishing Platform | News & Opinion | - A Reaction

Borders, BookBrewer Launch E-Publishing Platform News & Opinion

Here is one more example of something I have been ranting about for some time. Again, we see a company promoting this idea that anyone can be published. I have to stress that there really is a huge difference between having something "published" and having something "printed."

The simple fact that this program allows "anything" to be put up for sale represents another example of a potential decline in the quality of writing out there. I am not saying that everyone who uses a program like this is putting out garbage. Along the same lines, I am not saying that everyone who goes through the traditional route of publishing is putting out Pulitzer quality writing. What I am stressing is that there is absolutely zero accountability for that work being worthy.

I guess as I look at a situation such as this, as well as the Barnes and Noble PubIt! program, I am not too worried about these writers suddenly taking over the market. From the writers that I have talked to here on the blog, at conferences and what not, the majority of readers out there with the access to e-book technology are not buying the random books that have been self-printed (I simply can't bring myself to calling it self-publishing). If they do "buy" the book, they are often doing so when the price is listed as $0.00.

As someone with a background in literacy, I am frustrated with this move. Publishing is certainly open to everyone but there is an inherent professional obligation that the writer and publisher has to make an effort to insure the writing is going to be the best.



  1. Um, Scott, this still seems like a mighty tempest in a teapot to me. For starters, it can be difficult to say what might catch on, & I won't name names because every writer cranks out the best book that he can, but we are all aware that the worst kind of dreck has made careers for some, because they had a good idea, despite the awful writing, or because the very awfulness of the prose made it endearing to many of us, a signature piece which made for excellent entertainment in its awfulness, and so we eagerly read each one of the series, as they ascended, or descended, into true, and lucrative looniness. Clue-involved American Indians, always fertile ground for hyper-wish-fulfillment on the part of lonely white females)
    Apart from that, I say again that each of these new ebooks can be viewed as long blogs, & no one worries about there being too many blogs out there. Virtually all of them will sink without a peep, a very few of the best will gain market traction. No harm done. h
    Happy author, reading public that has not been bothered. I wouldn't even worry about it. The cream always rises in any field.. The agents will pul the best of those, and we will all trundle into the sunset, happier for being published, or printed. Whatever. As long as people are writing and reading.

  2. P.S. May I assume that someone with a "degree in literacy" considers the Niagara of endlessly published chick lit that has inundated our country to be "the best" American literacy has to offer the rest of the civilized world?
    Excuse me while I roll on the floor for a bit and consider the unforgiveable ways in which epublishers are lowering the bar of American Literature. But since I truly love you,Scott, I can forgive all. I know your heart is in a good place. Why not stop worrying about gate-keeping and just let both the washed and the great unwashed into the tent? Relax and enjoy the rumpus.

  3. Ever since the traditional publishers have decided that the 'best writing' = whatever they can sell a sh*tload of in the fastest time possible, the quality of writing has gone down. There's a lot of self-published dreck out there, and we all know it. But there's also plenty of 'traditionally published' dreck out there. as well.

    Don't even blame the decline of literacy on the self-published. Start with the wizards that brought us The Davinci Code and Twilight. There's two of the reasons any moron with a word processor thinks they can write a novel.

    I wish more of the ever-so-vital gatekeepers would quit complaining about writers jumping the fence and spend a bit more time improving the gate. Besides, look at it this way, every bad writer who self-publishes means one less wretched query letter you have to read. Consider it a filter, if it helps.