Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

How To Get The Slush Out of Self-publishing?


I used to call myself a self-published author, primarily since I haven’t tried to use the traditional venue.

Actually I have a “publisher” but are they really a Publisher?

FastPencil doesn’t edit my work, they don’t pay me an advance, they don’t acquire shelf-space in bookstores.

Perhaps they are a Publishing-Aid Company even though they are clearly listed as publisher

So many things in the publishing realm are in flux and the best name for a given activity may take years to resolve itself.

Now Crowdsourcing is being proposed for “self-publishers”.

Jane Friedman recently invited Scott VanKirk to guest post and, A Model for Crowdsourced Publishing, is, along with the fascinating comments, worth a read.

The basic idea for a crowdsourcing publishing site is best explained by my including an excerpt from the post:

“This site would offer membership to anyone who wants one. Any member of this site would have an opportunity to participate in the publishing pipeline in one or more roles. The goal of all these roles is to get a story published. Each person that is involved with a book project will receive some of the revenues from the sale of these books. The roles and their percentage of the revenues from a sale might look something like this:

  • Writer: 65%
  • Website: 15% (to run site, promote books, print books)
  • Critiquer/Collaborator: up to 20% (agreed beforehand, and writer can also grant from their own percentage)
  • Editor: up to 20% (agreed beforehand, and writer can also grant from their own percentage)”

There’s more to the idea and Scott gets a lot of comments that play further with the concepts, but

One of the most important components to Scott’s idea is that the reader is deeply integrated in the site functions, the reader has their say in who is doing their job well, the reader is enabled to find what they want, easily, and benefit from a collective publishing endeavor.

Go check out the full post and don’t forget to read the comments.

If you return here and express your thoughts and feelings about crowdsourced publishing, I’ll have a happier day :-)
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Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

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6 responses to “How To Get The Slush Out of Self-publishing?

  1. Catana January 10, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    It might work for some, but my reaction is — run like hell — in the other direction. If I understand the article correctly, the idea is a site that takes on a lot of the jobs of traditional publishing, and hands it over to — amateurs. Just how much time would any serious writer be willing to give to find the competent critiquer, the competent editor out of the crowd that’s bound to jump on board for their cut? Any site based on ratings is subject to abuse, and nobody has yet figured out a way to eliminate it. So, no, no, no.

    But maybe I’m wrong. I’d love to hear other opinions.

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai January 10, 2012 at 6:24 pm

      Thanks for your ideas, Catana.

      And, thanks for asking for other opinions :-)

      Like

  2. grahamwhittaker January 10, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    TRIOND, that “publisher” based in Israel has hundreds of websites, (content farms). The company calls itself a ‘publisher” laughably, and the are but one of many charlatans. However, the respectable and long established publisher Harper Collins has a magnificent website run with integrity. http://www.authonomy.com not only encourages writers to post complete manuscripts, but actively seeks out the best for publication under traditional methods. I personally believe that Harper Collins is at the forefront of modern publishing and authors like Steven Dunne (Reaper) and a host of others have been guided through the entire process to publication and distribution and have become bestselling writers. I would highly recommend exploring authonomy and if you have complete, or near complete manuscripts, go for it. Disclaimer: I have nothing to do with Harper Collins, or any affiliate of the company.

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai January 10, 2012 at 11:12 pm

      Graham,

      I have a published novel with FastPencil and will continue to use them—but

      Thanks for sharing your opinion and information.

      Like

  3. cmmarcum January 10, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    The project sounds dreamy…and that is always followed by a tingle of doubt, but I’m still interested. Thanks for sharing.

    Wikipedia is a noble and intellectual accomplishment. However, Wiki deals in facts. Facts are easy compared to art.

    If I tell you what I really think… Ah, I can see you cringing already. No writing site will have long terms success, major market shares or popularity with readers, unless that organization can find a way to chop through the slush. I found only microscopic bits of information about how they could deal with The Big Problem. The comments were about money and computer glitches–same oh, same oh–not much different from anyone else. There was a small hint that readers might learn to follow the suggestions of a critic.

    Then–even if they overcome this obstacle, another snag awaits them. After some time has passed, cliques will form within the company, nepotism will run rampant, and friends of friends will get the green-light, while outsiders will get deleted perfunctorily. Mainly, because the organization is not treated like a business and the ever increasing tide of slush never stops. I can see where it would be much easier for them to stick with their buds than to wade through the mighty mail bag.

    Oops, I did it again. Sorry. They could turn out to be a raging success, and then I’d be begging to get in and wondering whose butt should I kiss first. :)

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai January 10, 2012 at 11:16 pm

      C. M.,

      You never make me cringe :-)

      Thanks for so eloquently portraying a worst-case scenario and then admitting the scenario may be dead wrong

      Like

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