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It’s amazing how slow the old guard is to embrace change. It’s one thing for traditional publishing houses to look down on self-publishing, their business model and livelihood is on the line. I get that. But recently I wanted to join a local writers association here in Northern California but self-publishers need not apply:
A fiction writer, nonfiction writer, poetry writer, and/or a photojournalist shall have had a book published
by a publisher of standing within the past ten (10) years, or a book currently under contract, or publications or acceptance within the
past three (3) years of not less than three stories, articles, or columns in a periodical(s) of general circulation.
They did throw a bone to self-publishers…
may consider a self-publisher or writer who publishes his material under his own
imprint eligible for membership and having been published within the last (10) years.
This association “may consider”someone like John Locke who became the first independent publisher to sell over a million books on the Amazon Kindle. It doesn’t matter that he has his loyal fans who enjoy his books even though they’re not literary masterpieces.
The whole industry is clinging to the old business model just like the record industry did when downloading digital music came into fruition. The old guard recording industry fought it tooth and nail trying to keep their control and the status quo.
Fast-forward to the present and no one scoffs about downloading digital music from iTunes or the fact that independent musicians can make a go at it solo.
As I wrote above, I understand why the old publishing industry is kicking and screaming as they’re being dragged to the Amazon Kindle e-book/self-publishing world but a writers association? The snobbery is palpable. If they’re so concerned about quality why not judge applications from self-publishers by actually reviewing their work vs. assuming their work is sub-par since today’s self-publishers don’t fit into that specific box drawn decades ago.
Times, they are a-changing.