Six reasons that self-publishing is the scourge of the book world

Tom Barlow

An article by Mokoto Rich in the New York Times recently covered the booming industry of self-publishing books. As traditional publishing houses scramble for an increasingly smaller reading public and suffer from the effects of the re/depression, many writers unable to sell their manuscripts are choosing to foot the bill to publish them themselves. There are six reasons that I see this as the worst trend to hit American writing in a century. These are

1. No-one vetts self-published books, allowing even the most puerile piles of crap to adopt the guise of polished, professional prose. While hacks often can't restrain themselves from titles that tip their hand as talentless, readers browsing through the infinity of the Amazon catalog could be fooled into wasting their money. Rich quotes an executive of Lulu, a self-publishing house, as saying "We have easily published the largest collection of bad poetry in the history of mankind." Wow.

2. Self-publishing kills the drive for writers to improve their craft. The artificial, undeserved success they enjoy will trap them in mediocrity.