Israel today
Economics and desire

Expanding what gets printed

Digital Self-Publishing Shakes Up Traditional Book Industry -'

A good piece on the way vanity presses (for people who pay to get their own work published) are changing the entire book industry.  At one point looked at as a repository of third-rate creativity, this sector has been fueled by digital technology. In the mid-1990s, my brother-in-law, Philip Simmons, who was fighting Lou Gehrig's disease, ended up publishing one of his books in one of these presses. He'd tried unsuccessfully to solicit New York publishers for two years, not easy for a man quickly losing his ability to move, nevermind speak.

In the end his book Learning to Fall ended up with excellent mainstream reviews, winning awards, and getting a contract with an established publisher. It's gratifying to see this micro-economy start to change. It's allowed a whole range of literature, from African-American writers to communities with shared interests. The other interesting movement digital technology is fueling is magazine publishing. See MagCloud for some interesting examples.
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