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Book snobbery

Time for a little non-Sherlockian rant. Through my Twitter 'feed' I follow (and am followed by) quite a few people involved in publishing and I am getting more than a little sick of the "publishing versus self-publishing" argument that continues to rage. What I object to is the not too subtle suggestion that the former is some guarantee of quality while the latter is not.

The plain fact is that neither viewpoint is correct. Yes there is plenty of self-published rubbish but there are equal amounts of tripe put out by mainstream publishing houses. To damn someone purely because they funded their own publication is pure literary snobbery.

There are many perfectly good reasons why people self-publish. One common reason is not that they are lacking in talent but that their potential audience is so small (their subject being rather niche) that mainstream publishing houses do not see the books as worthwhile to take on.

Let us not forget that mainstream publishing houses are businesses. They are, of course, concerned with quality but they are more concerned with what will sell. It is for this reason that so many celebs, who cannot write to save their lives, have no trouble getting publishers to put out their books (which are often partly or wholly written by someone else). I name no names but you'll all be able to think of a few examples I'm sure.

I feel a bit better now.

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