Thursday, June 23, 2011

Stigma Erased

It is done.

The stigma of self-publishing has been slowly subsiding for the last couple of years, but this year its demise has accelerated. And today I can say with certainty that it doesn't mean a damn thing anymore.

Amanda Hocking, Jeremy Robinson and Zoe Winters are just a few authors that have had tremendous success with indie sales. A couple of months ago, Ms. Hocking used her indie success to land a deal with a big publisher. Apparently, they didn't mind how she sold her books. Joe Konrath, a successful traditionally published author, went indie and has had tremendous success. Barry Eisler, another best-selling traditionally published author, spurned a deal from St. Martin's Press to go indie.

And the names keep coming.

Earlier this week, Amazon announced that indie author John Locke sold 1 million ebooks on the Kindle in 2011. Take a few seconds to absorb that one. 1 million. That's hundreds of thousands of people who didn't care one iota that this guy published his books on his own without an agent or a big publishing house to back him.

Wired UK reported today that J.K. Rowling is going to self-publish the Harry Potter series. In essence, indie publishing has been blessed as acceptable by one of the most successful authors of all time.

Traditional publishing purists may continue to sneer with contempt at indie authors, but they can pretty much go stuff themselves because no one cares anymore. Readers don't care how books come to market so long as they're entertained. They don't need any self-appointed "gatekeepers" (nannies of literature, if you will) to tell them what's OK to read because the Readers can figure it out on their own. Or they'll ask their friends. Or they'll read reviews on blogs or booksellers' sites. Readers want to read what they want to read! And that's all that matters.

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