Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Vanity ain't what it used to be

At my last high school reunion, an old geezer came up to me and said that he knew where I could publish my blogs in a real book for $200. I felt like Benjamin Braddock, hearing "plastics" for the first time. My reaction to the old geezer was, why would I want to do that? I'm already publishing myself for free.

But there are still reasons for wanting a real book sometimes. Sometimes you want to pay for publishing yourself. When I came up, self-publication was for idiots only. Idiots with money. "Vanity" was the kindest word anyone could think of applying to that kind of publishing. It was for suckers.

I see it differently, now. Print-On-Demand allows anyone to obtain, not just a bunch of bound books, but the whole range of marketing services that traditional publishers offer. If your stuff is good, the big guys will call you up. It's a free country, after all. The only difference between me and the best-sellers, is the sense of superiority that the best-sellers reserve for themselves. "Vanity" is the kindest word I can think of applying to them.

I will take what's left of the stigma. I will pay for marketing my stuff. The Greater Fool Theory gives me a better than even chance of recouping my costs. And if not, I'll still have a closet full of books with my name on them.

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