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The absolute best thing about mainstream book publishing

July 20th, 2018 by Bob Bly

MM recently wrote on my Facebook wall:

“Bob, for the life of me I can’t understand why you knock indie
publishing, since you’ve published a ton of work independently.

“Last I heard you make several hundred thousand a year by selling
ebooks and courses through your own websites. Seems like you’re
being a hypocrite to me, by knocking indie publishing.”

I told MM that my preference for traditional publishing over
self-publishing can be summed up in two words:

“Quality control.”

The way I see it, traditional publishing is a quality control
system for producing books — one that self-publishers lack.

For instance, all of my publishers and editors, bless them,
absolutely put me through the wringer on every book I write.

The result: the final book is much better than it was when my
manuscript first crossed their desk.

And for that, my publishers and editors have my undying
gratitude.

By comparison, 97% of self-publishers don’t come close to this
level of quality control for their product.

In fact, many do not even have their books copy edited,
fact-checked, or proofread by anyone other than the author.

Result: a huge quality differential between mainstream and
self-publishing.

My FB friend KS agreed with me, saying, “Quality is one reason
why traditional publishing will keep a foothold in the book
world, no matter what happens.”

RH commented: “I expect there to be a rebound toward physical
books and quality books that have been vetted by a publisher.
Maybe consumers will realize the value of publishers….”

BTW, I corrected MM in that I am not critical of indie
publishers; several of my own publishers are small independent
presses.

What I think often produces inferior books is self-publishing —
that is, an author publishing his own books without an outside
publishing firm.

The reason in a nutshell?

When it comes to editing, reviewing, and rewriting their own
work, most self-publishers take it too easy on themselves.

Editors with mainstream publishers, on the other hand, are tough
as nails on me. As they should be.

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This entry was posted on Friday, July 20th, 2018 at 11:45 am and is filed under Writing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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