Diamond in a Coal Heap


"Self-Published Authors Are Destroying Literature" cried one blogger recently. And he is not alone in his thinking: the vast majority in the traditional publishing world agree with him. But while this view is an over-simplification of a complex issue, there is a bedrock of truth beneath this topsoil of hysteria. The literary world is undergoing an upheaval unequaled since the invention of the printing press. For nearly five hundred years following its first appearance in the fifteenth century, only those authors whom the gods of publishing deemed worthy ever saw the fruit of their labors printed, bound, and made available to the reading public. And while the appearance of so-called 'vanity presses' in the mid-twentieth century made it possible for others to have their books published, the enormous expense associated with this approach placed it beyond the reach of all but a privileged few. However, the advent of print-on-demand technology in the late 1990's changed everything, and from that point on nothing will ever be the same again in the world of book publishing. The good news is that now literally anyone can publish a book. The bad news is that now literally anyone can publish a book. And the…

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