Driving Home with NPR

Driving home last night, I heard a wonderful story about Self-publishing on NPR’s “All Things Considered.” It featured comments from Mark Coker, founder of the self-publishing firm Smashwords, and from Michael Pietsch of Little, Brown and Company, a well-known publishing house.

A couple of comments resonated with me.

In answer to this question, “… just because everyone can produce a book, should everyone produce a book?,” Coker said:  “Well, I think if you’re a writer, and you want to reach readers, and you want to publish, then you have a right to publish. And I know this is blasphemy to the traditional publishing industry when I say this, but this is what I believe. I believe every writer is great and wonderful and has something to share with the world. Readers will decide if what they’re sharing is worth reading.”

Pietsch said, “Smashwords is an amazing opportunity for people who want to publish themselves. I love the diversity of publication that is possible now. But I object strenuously to the notion that publishers are irrelevant, because publishers are doing things now that are extraordinarily complex, exciting that the ways that publishers can work to connect readers with writers now are the kinds of things that publishers have dreamt of doing since Gutenberg first put down a line of type.”

When all is said and done, it’s a good time to be a reader.

— Marlene Anderson, Director of Library Services


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