In previous posts I’ve briefly touched on the POD industry (and it’s even less reputable cousin, vanity publishers). We’ve danced around the subject but never really gone into how we feel about this.
Today I was reading The Adams Zone, where the author says:
A self-published book says “unsuccessful.” It says to potential readers that maybe the author was such a poor writer that they had to pay to have their book printed.
To a large extent, I think this is still the case. I think most of us would still shy away from a self-published book, in favor of something from one of the big publishing houses. I could be wrong, but I haven’t seen any signs that POD has lost any of that stigma. Most bookstores will not carry self-published books, nor allow book signings by authors of self-published books. I’ve heard of (but can’t cite any off-hand) self-published authors whose books sold well enough that they eventually got the “traditional” publishing house to pick up their book, but these seem to be few and far between. Very far between.
And yet, even with the state of the economy, and as tight as it has always been in the publishing industry to get a book contract, publishers seem to be churning out the schlock, unedited, and peddling it to the public. Lis’Anne talked on her blog a couple of days ago about her experience buying a book riddled with contradictions and inconsistencies.
I don’t know about you, but this makes no sense to me. Publishing houses are feeling the pinch every bit as much as every other industry, possibly more in some cases. So why would they publish something so bad that readers give up in frustration? Once you know a certain publisher puts out books that haven’t been edited (or at least not edited well), are you going to buy anything from them again? What makes publishing with them any more prestigious than pay-to-publish?