- Traditional publisher HarperCollins has established an internet site for writers called authonomy, where writers can post novels or portions of novels. The best are reviewed by editors. I have posted my fantasy novel The Stone Dragon on this site.
- Online writer site QueryTracker, in cooperation with various literary agents, hosts contests for its writers to submit their killer queries, short pitches, or first five pages. Winners get the option to connect with a literary agent.
- Award-winning author of more than twenty fiction and non-fiction works, Edgar Wiseman has self-published his collection of flash fiction, Briefs, through Lulu (with heavy recognition and acknowledgment by that publisher).
- Amazon hosts the Breakthrough novels contest for unpublished and self-published novels. (Create Space, another self-publishing enterprise, is owned by Amazon.com.) My fellow writer Carol Buchanan (with her self-published novel God's Thunderbolt) is a semi-finalist in this contest.
How will all this shake out? Care for a prediction or two?
- I believe traditional authors will gain the ability to self-publish when the book is out of print--or, at the least, will publish with the agreement that the book will be available on Print on Demand after the initial sales die down. This will allow the author to continue to sell books (even in a diminished number) after the book is out of print. Otherwise, it is the used book sellers that receives the profit.
- I believe more first-time authors will self-publish, and online contests and competitive/cooperative sites will allow the "gate-keeping" process to separate the well-written from the rest. This will create the opportunity for agents and traditional publishers to "discover" talent, for writers to present their work and achieve recognition that can be used for promotion, and for readers to feel more confident that a self-published book is well-written.
Copyright 2009 by Thomas L. Kepler, all rights reserved