By Patricia de Hemricourt
Despite the meteoric rise of self-publishing since 2008, the self-publishing stigma still bars authors from entering the reserved grounds of literary awards.
A recent article in the Guardian perfectly illustrates the shortsightedness of both traditional publishers and gate keepers of literary awards grounds.
Traditional publishers brilliantly missed the digital revolution first wave and are now hitching a ride on successful self-published writers by publishing those authors that were smart enough to market themselves. In other words, they pretty much abandoned their role as talent discoverers. Yet, they still expect to be seen as the authority able to decide for us, mere readers, which books are respectable enough to deserve the honor of being recognized by the established experts in literature. They want to keep the right to tell us what is good for us!
Except, this does not make any sense anymore. Publishers have to decide. Either they stick their neck out and do the leg work to promote authors they believe in, thus justifying their claim for expertise; or they greedily jump on authors already validated by public acclaim to capitalize on readers proven taste and fill their coffers on the author pen’s back. In the second scenario, they have no claim to expertise in defining what is literature worth publishing.
Publishers, do your job and discover writers or retire! Literary awarders, make up your mind: Bar all books that began as self-published, regardless of whether they were “validated” by established publishers after proving their mettle. Or design a criterion enabling self-published books to be included as contestants even without a publisher’s stamp of approval. Be logical instead of being ruled by ill-placed self-publishing stigma.
We are not holding our breath in expecting an answer for either publishers or established awarders that would in any way weakens the self-publishing stigma. So we are actively working on a different publishing model that will restore the writer’s right to write instead of devoting dear writing time on marketing, formatting, illustrating etc AND provide readers validation.
At this early stage, we cannot yet guarantee that a literary award will be include in the model, but that article certainly gave us food for thought on the subject.
Whether you are a writer, a reader or a service provider for book creation, we invite you to email us with suggestions as to what you would like to see in your ideal publishing model.
We will do our best to include it in our platform.
Together, we rule! Together, we will redesign publishing with the interest of readers and writers, not of publishers’ coffers…