Scribd Invites Writers to Upload Work and Name Their Price - NYTimes.com

Is this really "vanity" publishing? "Vanity publishing" seems to mean publishing all by oneself, at one's own effort and expense, without any assurance from anybody else (except maybe your mother and closest friends) that what you have written is worth reading. Not what I want to do. But if this same technology is used by a publisher, that is, some organization that actually selects works it thinks it can sell, then it becomes "real" publishing. I think it's great that publishing technology becomes cheaper and easier, but we'll always feel a need for some critical filter -- editors and publishers in some form -- even if they make mistakes and can't always tell the wheat from the chaff. Because the amount of verbiage available for reading is too daunting. Scribd Invites Writers to Upload Work and Name Their Price - NYTimes.com


Dirk said...

I don’t feel any need for critical filtering. I think that’s mostly because my criteria are different from much of the publishers’ criteria, namely making money. (I remember hearing the story of the note by an editor on the MS of a well-established writer that was turned down. Part of internal correspondence was, “We have no justification for publishing this except it’s well written.” I am quite certain that most of what I write is better, by my criteria, that the mostly dreck on the airport newsstands.

What I feel a need of is sales and marketing. Since the early 80’s I have been in a position to typeset a book. I could have bought printing & binding. What I don’t know how to do and am temperamentally handicapped from doing is marketing and sales. Scribd does not provide that so it is not much good to me.

gef said...

If you are seriously interested in marketing and sales, check out John Kremer's "10 million eyeballs" course. That's all it's about.

I do feel a need for critical filtering, to better my chances to read something good. And as your comment on my "Rilke" story implies, I need it make my own writing more effective.