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View Full Version : Really irresponsible article on self-publishing in WPost



Wailing Bainsidhe
09-28-2004, 12:37 AM
Did anyone see <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A45761-2004Sep23.html" target="_new">this article</a> in the Washington Post? It's full of the kind of information that drives naive writers into the arms of scammy agents and vanity publishers and A Certain Publisher In Maryland That Shall Remain Nameless. A real shame.

*slips back into lurk*

P.S. I love this forum. I will try to contribute more.

AnneMarble
09-28-2004, 01:17 AM
Oh, noooo. They said that John Grisham's "A Time to Kill" was self-published. That hoary old myth again, and right in the first paragraph. :head

And telling people to start "hyping" the book before it's even finished?! What?! What good will that do? That's even more worthless than hyping a book that most book stores won't stock. :rofl And worse, they suggest that you hype it to friends, business contracts, etc. -- what a way to turn them into former friends, etc. :b

Gasp! And then in the next paragraph, they tell people to hire editors. I'm afraid to read on. What do they tell peple to do next? To mix bleach with ammonia?! To worship Cthulhu and sacrifice humans?! To go up to people and say "Hello, Sailor"?! :wha

I notice there's no "Rate this article" link, and no e-mail link for the writer.

pepperlandgirl
09-28-2004, 01:43 AM
Actually, worshipping Cthullu might be the only sensible bit of advice they could offer at this point...

allion
09-29-2004, 01:48 AM
And if you notice the ads at the bottom of the article, you will see lulu.com and authorhouse.com...:ssh

This has to be the equivalent of that Xerox ad on TV...you know the one where the idiot stands up in writing class and proclaims anyone can be published because of the docucentre or whatever they're selling.:bang

This article and its advice to basically spam everyone you may have every met to buy your book, as well as buying a really expensive program like QuarkXpress, should be flushed.

Who did write this tripe???

James D Macdonald
09-29-2004, 09:54 AM
Was this in the print edition?

XThe NavigatorX
09-29-2004, 11:44 AM
James: yes it was.

If it really chaps any of you so much, you should write a letter to the editor. The A Time to Kill thing at the very least deserves a retraction.

James D Macdonald
09-29-2004, 07:31 PM
<a href="http://www.livejournal.com/users/nihilistic_kid/491373.html" target="_new">The Nihilistic Kid</a> has torn this article a new one.

I'm wondering if I should send a letter to the editor.

This looks like sloppy research on the part of the article's author, who (my guess) only went to one site (Dan Poynter's -- the article doesn't have any errors that aren't also on Poynter's site) and typed it up on deadline, without fact checking.

gdkess
09-30-2004, 04:41 AM
did anyone notice also that the article gave the URL for a porn site (www.craiglist.com) to shop for an editor? Presume they meant craigslist.org.

AnneMarble
09-30-2004, 04:45 AM
did anyone notice also that the article gave the URL for a porn site (www.craiglist.com) to shop for an editor? Presume they meant craigslist.org.
:ha :rofl

Great catch!

Duncan J Macdonald
01-23-2005, 10:55 PM
Just so those of you who don't get the dead tree version of the Post know, the article Making Books: The Perils of Self-Publishing is on the centerfold of the section -- two facing pages.

Centered on the left page is a graphic of two hands (with business suited arms). One hand is proffering a single, folded, dollar bill; the other, in return, is holding an open check-book and a pen.

On the right page, centered, is a bumper sticker quote: "Self-publishers should be up front with their writers," says Steve Riggio, the CEO of Barnes & Noble, which discourages managers from stocking such merchandise. "They need to tell them they are not likely to be in bookstores."

There is a side bar at the bottom of the right hand page titled "The Success Stories". Four of them are listed:
1) Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield. 100,000
copies through Satori Publishers, then picked up by
Warner in 1994, and has sold over 5 million. Worldwade
sales of nearly 12 million in 40 languages.
2) Feed Me, I'm Yours by Vicki Lansky. Self published
by the author's own imprint, Meadowbrook Press in 1975.
3 million in sales worldwide.
3) Invisible Life by E. Lynn Harris. Self published in
1991, sold 10,000 copies. Picked up by Doubleday in
1994, and has sold more than 500,000.
4) The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans. Printed
20 copies for his family at Kinkos in 1992. Ultimately
published and sold 250,000 himself. Picked up by Simon
& Schuster in 1995. Worldwide sales of more than 7
million.

None of those titles are listed as having been PA books.

R/
Duncan

Dhewco
01-23-2005, 11:04 PM
<None of those titles are listed as having been PA books.

R/
Duncan >


Of course not, everyone knows PA is a 'traditional' publisher and therefore not applicable to self-publishing records.

:rollin
David

Duncan J Macdonald
01-24-2005, 01:04 AM
David said:


Of course not, everyone knows PA is a 'traditional' publisher and therefore not applicable to self-publishing records.

Of course not, everyone knows PA is a 'traditional' publisher and therefore not applicable to self-publishing records.

Considering the scrupulous fairness that infused the entire article, I would expect that the staff researchers would have gone out of their way to try and find a PA success. That they didn't is strongly indicative.

R/
Duncan

James D. Macdonald
07-31-2005, 02:31 AM
Not every newspaper writer is clued-in how book publishing works.