Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Selfpublishing

Back to Our Conversations ~ What the Heck Is Privishing?

Privishing vs Publishing The Monday/Wednesday Conversations idled for a bit; but last Wednesday’s post, The Conversation Is Still Fizzling . . ., got things going again.

My part of the Conversation was about the two most common ways to publish—Traditional and Self-Publishing.

A regular reader picked up on a particular term used in one of the excerpts; and, this particular reader is a traditionally published author:

“I am astonished to read the word ‘privishing’. I have never heard of it before but I do believe I have experienced it! Many traditional publishers I believe use freelance editors who work on contract now. I think many now famous books which were perhaps published in a quieter and slower age would have sunk without a trace if they had experienced today’s privishing.”

And, from the text-link in that reader’s comment, a working definition for Privishing could be:

“…when a publisher intentionally suppresses a book that might be embarrassing and that they may have published in the first place. They might do that by printing as few copies as possible, for instance, so that it is instantly out of print. Or the book may be made scarce by buying large quantities of it in the shops, once it has gone out to retail outlets…”

Just to clarify, privishing happens, primarily, in Traditional publishing.

So, since that reader/author focused on the practice of Privishing, I did a bit more research…

I found a forum topic, from 2004, called: “Privishing” books: how much the truth hurts, and costs.

And, even though it focuses on journalism, the ideas certainly apply to fictional works.


“From Gerald Colby’s essay in Into the Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of a Free Press:

“‘In the thirty years I have been a freelance investigative journalist, I’ve seen books suppressed in varying ways, sometimes by the subjects of books, sometimes by publishers, and sometimes by authors succumbing to self-censorship out of fear of repercussions for telling the truth. In the 1970s, a new term came into the vernacular of industry-wise writers: privishing.'”

“Serious research into America’s hidden history is not big business. Most big publishing houses, for one reason or another, will either reject a title altogether or privish the run. Hard truths are often left to the alternative presses, as with alternative media, which keeps them hidden from most Americans. And when they’re not, they’re often privished and priced out of reach.”

Another definition I found:

Small-scale or unadvertised publication of a book, so that it is not easily available to the public.

When it’s worded that way, privishing could be applied to a self-publishing author who’s afraid or incapable of getting the word out…

If you happen to be a “privishing” self-publisher, do, please, check out this article: Be the Gateway.

And, if you want to read an in-depth article on how Traditional Publishing can be manipulated into “banning” books, read, Behind the Forbidden Bookshelf: Du Pont Dynasty by Gerard Colby.

So, if you want to move this particular Conversation forward, feel free to leave any comments you care to share…

And, if you don’t see any reason to comment on this post, perhaps you could leave an idea (or, two) in the comments on what you’d like to see in our Conversations :-)
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The Conversation Is Still Fizzling . . .

Why Traditional Publishing Is Not for Serious Writers I have to consult myself, instead of the comments in the last Conversation post because there were no comments…

I’m going to say the reason for no comments is that folks are way too busy dealing with a world falling apart…

Or, they’re making so many efforts to work on reinforcing some part of the world…

It’s somewhat like seeing all the things wrong with Traditional publishing but, for some reason, not being able to Self-publish…

In case you’re new here and don’t know the difference between those two types of publishing, here’s a link to my past posts about Traditional Publishing and one for the posts about Self-publishing… However, if you go to those links, this post will be the first one, since I’m tagging it with those terms; but, all the other posts will be right there under it…

And, if you’re the type of person not inclined toward taking links in blog posts, here’s my simplified definitions of the two types of publishing:

Traditional Publishing = dealing with mega-corporations that have their focus almost completely on their bottom line…

Self-publishing = dealing with yourself and a possible very small set of other folks to produce a book…

You may have noticed that the phrase “produce a book” was only used in the self-publishing definition—strange fact, traditional publishers can actually accept a book for publication and never actually publish it… bottom line thing…

I’ll now share a few excerpts from a post I did back in November of 2017 called, Why Traditional Publishing Is Not for Serious Writers . . . (all excerpts attributable to Erica Verrillo)

“We think editors at publishing houses edit. The truth is they spend most of their time responding to memos, developing profit-and-loss statements, figuring out advances, supplementing publicity efforts, fielding calls from agents, attending meetings, and so on. They edit on weekends and evenings, and on the train as they are commuting.”

“Privishing (where the publisher quietly suppresses books, whether intentionally or not) has become the norm for publishers for various reasons, the first of which is that there are limitations on budgets. The second is that editors compete for those budgets.”

“The negative attitude that editors develop about manuscripts and proposals is in part because budgets are limited, and is in part driven by competition. But mindless rejection is also an inherent feature of publishing….Editors are not only competing for budgets, they are engaged in what may be described as a pissing contest in snark.”

“…publishers identify writers as ‘outsiders’, as ‘them’, even though their income depends on the people they publish. This, I believe, is a significant component of the attitude that is shared almost universally among publishers…”

And, an excerpt from a post back in April, 2011:

…I think both methods of publishing have their pros and cons.


Some Traditional Pros:

National or International marketing help.

Recognition by peers.

Acceptance in the marketplace.

Some Traditional Cons:

Huge effort to have book accepted.

Pressure from editors on book’s content.

No guarantees of ultimate success.


Some Self-Publishing Pros:

No restrictions on content.

No editorial pressure.

No struggle to have book accepted for publishing.

Some Self-Publishing Cons:

Responsibility for every bit of promotion and marketing.

Less acceptance by peers (though this seems to be swiftly changing).

No guarantees of ultimate success.


It could seem like a lesser of two evils choice, but those were only Some of the differences.

For completeness sake, here’s a link to an article on Hybrid Publishing.


I still have hopes for our Monday/Wednesday Conversation posts…

And, I’ll still hold up my end of the proposal, till some of you find your best reasons to add a comment………
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Why Smashwords ?

I self-published my novel nearly seven years ago. At first, I was using FastPencil; with a print and ebook edition distributed to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and a number of other retailers… Smashwords Review and Predictions

In September of last year, I switched to Smashwords.

That meant dropping the production of the print version; but, one day, I may add print back…

I feel good about the move to Smashwords—it feels “cleaner” than Amazon (none of that seemingly constant “How is Amazon mistreating authors again?” stuff…); though, I still sometimes buy a kindle e-book…

I’ve done quite a bit of posting here about Smashwords; if you take that last link, you might see this post at the top of the scrollable list…

One thing about Smashwords, even though it’s e-book-only—they distribute much more widely than Fastpencil.

I know many writers are still stuck with the idea that having a book at Amazon is required; but, that’s as outdated a notion as thinking that the only way to publish is with the Big 5…


I recently got an email from Smashwords that led to two interesting articles…

The first is Smashwords 2017 Year in Review and 2018 Preview.

That one is about Smashwords, itself…

The second is 2018 Book Industry Predictions: Are Indie Authors Losing their Independence?

The beginning of that second article is a fascinating history that details the travails of Indie authors vis-à-vis Amazon…

Then come the predictions for 2018—separated into Clouds and Sunshine…

Here are the bullet-points ( reading the full article will make you wise :-)


1.  2017 will be another challenging year for the book industry

2.  The glut of high-quality low-cost ebooks will get worse

3.  Barnes & Noble is sick and will get sicker

4.  Kobo’s sales will falter

5.  Devaluation pressures will persist

6.  Single-copy ebook sales will decline

7.  Romance authors will feel the most pain from KU {Kindle Unlimited}

8.  Large traditional publishers will reduce commitment to romance

9.  Email list fatigue

10.  Pressure will build to drop author royalties


11.  Audiobooks will be a big story in 2017

12.  Audible will face increased competition

13.  Readers will still pay for books worth reading

14.  New subscription services will be introduced

15.  Calls will grow in the US for antitrust action against Amazon

16.  Indies will reassert control over platform

17.  Indie authors will take a closer look at podcasting to reach new readers

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Which Is Really Best ~ #TraditionalPublishing or #SelfPublishing ?

I was looking over an article from The Bookseller (been around since 1858) and I got to the point where I felt like I didn’t want to “burden” my readers by featuring it… Which Is Really Best ~ #TraditionalPublishing or #SelfPublishing ?

Then, I felt deeper and decided I’d link to it and make my own comments…

The article is called, Amazon’s Naggar Tells Publishers to Slash E-Book Prices — Mr. Naggar is Amazon’s publishing chief; and, the publishers he’s talking to are the Traditional or “Legacy” publishers…

I’ve published a little over 2,000 posts since January 2011; and, a large percentage of them were looking at the differences between Self-Publishing and Traditional Publishing.

If you’re new here, you should know I have Subject Index Links (in the left side-bar) that show whether topics have very few posts or a lot of posts by making their words smaller or larger—both Traditional Publishing and Self-Publishing have larger words…

If I squeezed everything I’ve learned about the two flavors of publishing into as few words as possible, I’d say—Self-Publishing gives you Much more control over your book…

But, let me pour through those Top Tags and select a few choice posts for your perusal:

Why Traditional Publishing Is Not for Serious Writers . . .

Still Hoping to Get a Book Published by the “Big 5”?

Fake News ~ in Self-Publishing . . .

An Author Writes an Open Letter to His Publisher . . .

Credit Where It’s Due ~ #TraditionalPublishing and #SelfPublishing

What’s Wrong with #Selfpublishing ?

And, there are hundreds more where those came from…

However, since I now give all my books away and most authors are interested in selling their books, I should share this post:

What About All The Authors Whose Books Don’t Sell Very Many Copies?

Happy reading :-)
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This Is What Happens When a Blogger Goofs; Or, My Attempt to Actually Feature Roz Morris Talking about #SelfPublishing…

So, back at the fated time of shortly after midnight, I turned one of Roz Morris’ posts into a re-blog…

Big mistake in my own estimation, since my schedule (devised after years of blogging) is “full” posts on Monday and Wednesday, new short Tales on Friday, and re-blogs on the other days (to encourage my readers to widen their travels in the blogosphere)…

And, since, back on the 10th of this month, I ignored a re-blog in favor of a full post about Roz’s new book, it only seems fair that I do a full post about the re-blog I did only hours ago…

Not Quite Lost: Travels Without a Sense of Direction Here’s why:

Roz has a new book out…

I blogged about it in these posts:

#BookReview of #RozMorris ’ #NewBook ~ a Wonderful ! #Travel #Memoir

Follow-up Video about Roz Morris’ #NewBook

Not Quite Lost – Travels Without A Sense of Direction

And, the re-blog earlier today also points toward this warm and wonderful book…

The post-proper is, The Real Schedule of a Self-Published Book.

And, if some of my readers feel that I don’t have to “go to this ‘trouble'”, when I’ve already “pointed” to Roz’s post with the re-blog, I must confess I believe most blog readers don’t take links out of posts; but, if the post has enough white space in it, they actually might read the excerpts provided…


Roz’s reason for her post:

“A report of the Frankfurt Book Fair in The Hot Sheet caught my eye this week, and I have to admit it’s got me a trifle narked….Here’s the point that worried me. In self-publishing, every manuscript ‘is accepted and each title is invested with the minimum amount of means’”.

Then, after providing critical information about her editorial work with other writers, Roz says:

“…by way of example, let me take you through the editorial process for my latest book, Not Quite Lost.”

I will now leave it to each reader’s conscience to actually go read Roz’s detailed run-through of the work she engaged in for her Self-Published new book…

However, for the non-link-takers:

“This is not the schedule of a book that was ‘invested with the minimum amount’, either financially or in terms of time. Indeed, I’ll wager my book had more care than it would get in a traditional publishing house. How do I know this? Because I’ve worked for them as well.”

Pow! Take that, whoever made that ill-advised statement at the Frankfurt Book Fair

And, while encouraging you to not deprive yourself of reading Roz’s Full Post, here’s a refreshingly accurate statement from her:

“Yes, self-publishing is done by amateurs. It’s also done by responsible, professional authors who nurture a book properly and take care in its production to create a book that’s worth a reader’s time.”

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