Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Penguin Gets into Self-Publishing

I haven't posted for a while on self-publishing, because frankly I ran out of things to say. But I thought this was an interesting bit of news. Digital Book World blog had an announcement today about Penguin’s Book Country Launches Self-Publishing Service.

A quote: "Penguin’s online genre fiction community, Book Country, has launched a self-publishing service, signaling the intention of big publishers to develop additional revenue streams in the face of a changing book-publishing landscape, even if it means letting authors bypass the traditional publishing process."

That's right, a traditional publisher is figuring out how to get a piece of the self-publishing pie. I haven't looked into details, but it looks like they are simply offering a service to adapt your manuscript to print on demand and e-book formats, without editorial or other services. Presumably one does not get the Penguin name and logo on the spine.

A Newbie's Guide to Publishing Book Country Fail, where he noted that the company seems to be offering the same services you can get elsewhere, for more money. An excerpt: "If you want to use Book Country to workshop your book and get critiques, that's great. I've heard good things about it. But I would NOT recommend paying them to format your manuscripts."

It will be interesting to see if other publishers start dabbling like this, and if so, to what extent. Right now there doesn't seem to be any good reason to self publish through a traditional publisher, unless they are providing publishing services such as editorial and proofreading at a competitive rate, or you get the respect associated with their name (which I can't imagine they'd provide to self publishers, without thoroughly vetting the manuscripts first).

Some authors may hope to catch the eye of an editor and get a traditional deal, but my guess is the team doing self-publishing services will be completely separate from a publisher's editorial staff. I expect there is room for traditional publishers in the world of self-publishing, but I'm not sure they've found the right set up yet.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. This big house/self-publishing situation is getting more interesting (and more confusing!) every day.