Self-publishing just took a big step up in the world. Penguin gave self-publishing a big boost this summer by purchasing Author Solutions, one of the biggest self-publishing platforms available to authors. This kind of nod from a major publisher might allow self-publishing to finally gain a lot more acceptance, respect and legitimacy in the publishing and book-selling communities.
Penguin has a history of thinking outside the box, for example its recent two book deal with author Kerry Schafer, a digital-age book deal that came about after the author uploaded her NaNoWriMo novel to Penguin’s Book Country.
Self-publishing has been slowing shedding its old stigmas layer by layer. More services are popping up to help authors achieve higher levels of quality. How long can traditional publishing last against the growing force of self-publishing?
The old idea of getting an advance up front for getting a book deal the traditional route is not all that and a bag of chips any more. Most authors are fed their “advances” in bits and pieces, and they aren’t usually huge jackpots.
The draws of traditional publishing are rapidly dwindling. The distribution power of the big publishing houses and the air of legitimacy are the only things traditional publishing still has going for it. Now that Penguin has jumped into self publishing with both feet, even the legitimacy factor is starting to look shaky.
Are the big publishing houses being stripped down to nothing but distribution machines? Will distribution even be necessary in the digital future? Where is it all going? What do writers, publishers and booksellers have to do to stay in the game? Penguin has obviously decided what it’s path will be. Where will that path lead?