On the self-publishing side is Michelle Davidson Argyle of The Literary Lab with her ongoing series "Why Self-Publishing Is Better Than You Think." In her first post, she writes:
Fences. In writing there may be no fences, but in publishing, there is no mistaking their presence. Fences and gates. Think of it this way: two corrals leading to the same pristine, beautiful pasture. The corrals are exactly the same. And, let me state this again: they lead to the exact same pasture.Meanwhile, Paul Carr at TechCrunch.com offers the traditional view:
Today I'm talking about a very sticky subject, one that I've seen people arguing about quite passionately. I'm not here to say that self-publishing is better than traditional publishing or the other way around. I do not feel in any way that one could possibly be any better than the other. Want to know why? Because, once again, they lead to the exact same pasture. The only difference is how you get there. Some might argue that the pasture is different, that self-publishing isn't publishing at all, but I'll tell you what -- getting your work out there for sale, marketing it, seeing people read it, rate it, love it, hate it, talk about it -- that's publishing. If you deny that, you're on some sort of crack. Traditional. Self. I'd like to try both, thank you very much. The beautiful thing is that I can.
If I were a commissioning editor in a major publishing house, I'd be feeling a little unloved right now. Like the wife of a guy who runs over his neighbour's cat: why does everyone hate me? What did I do?Got your Jiffy Pop in the microwave? Great, because it's quite a good show ...
Maybe hate is too strong a word: hate is when you hope that someone will burst into flames and die. The current feeling towards publishers isn't quite that: no one wants them to combust -- it's just that, well, they wouldn't urinate on them if it happened. ...
[A]s I read the crowing of Godin, Connolly and the various other authors who are suddenly turning their backs on their publishers and going solo; and as I hear the rising chorus of abuse directed at the women and men (mostly women) who toil in the world's -- I dunno? Third-? Fourth-? - oldest profession -- I'm pretty sure which side of the barricades I belong on.
You see, I love my publishers. Absolutely adore them. Couldn't live without them. Furthermore, I think anyone who willingly abandons theirs in favour of self-publishing, is either delusional, a peremptory jackass -- or both.
(Picture: CC 2009 By DawnVGilmorePhotography; Hat Tip: How Publishing Really Works)