I'm interested to know why anyone would choose to self-publish his or her novel.

Were you fed up with the query/rejection process? Did you feel your book was good, but, for one reason or another, agents and editors weren't giving it a chance? Did you feel the need for complete creative control? Did you work with a freelance editor? Were you happy with the end product? Would you do it again?

Absolutely no disrespect intended. Just curious. Was it a dream come true, or did it turn out to be a nightmare? Do tell.

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This is a good article about self-publishing: http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-18438_7-10119891-82.html?tag=mncol;title.
Interesting article, John. Thanks.
Although vanity presses have been around a long time, it's really early days for POD and other new technologies which could have a real effect. Hard to say which way it's going to go, but it does seem possible that there may be more niche markets better served, more specialization.

I do think we should be just as wary of editors and publishers as the arbiters of what's good as we are of professors and literary critics being the arbiters of what's art.

But there does need to be some kind of vetting.

I've been kicking around 'peer review' ideas. For example, the Crime Writers of Canada now gives out an award for best unpublished manuscript - we've pretty much copied the British version (I'm not sure if the MWA has one) and then we leave it up to the writer to try and find an agent and a publisher. So, we think there's some value in the peer review, in putting, "Winner of the best unpublished manuscript," on it before sending it to agents. I wonder if there's any value in putting something like that on a book itself and making it directly available for sale?

What about the Crimespace Anthology? Have an area where members can post short stories, flash fiction, whatever, and members can vote which stories they like best. Take the top ten and put them in a book sold through iUuniverse or Booksurge, or whatever and also through e-book sellers.

It wouldn't exactly be self-published because it will have gone through a vetting process.
I think a Crimespace Anthology of short stories is a great idea. Not so sure about the peer review thing...

It might end up being nothing more than a popularity contest, with people soliciting votes from their friends. Call me cynical, I guess.

However, we might be able to garner interest from a real publisher for a short story anthology, if we could talk a couple of traditionally published members into acting as editors.
An anthology would be cool. But would it be weighted heavily toward hard-boiled and noir? Some of us don't write that.
Hi Pepper. We could probably come up with some sort of theme, and then include any and all subgenres.
If there is a way to make submissions anonymous, that would solve the popularity problem.
An anthology sounds like fun. I hereby offer my services with the layout of the book if such a project is undertaken. I have some experience with InDesign and Quark Xpress.
We should really clear this with Daniel if it's to be a Crimespace project.

I'm certainly willing to work on it.

I guess we could also open up cover design to a vote by the community if people want to submit some.
It's really the non-traditional aspects of an anthology that I'm interested in.

There's been so much press about online communities - and Crimespace is a very good one - that a community-driven project would likely be an angle (call it a gimmick if you want) that could get some media attention.

But it's also valid. We have a good community here and there's the potential to do something new and different.

You're right, it wouldn't work too well if it became a popularlity contest - poor Loomis no one would vote for him no matter how good his story is (I don't really have to point out I'm kidding, do I?) and I was thinking we could just treat people like adults. There may be a way to post the stories anonymously, but if a few people were determined to screw it up, I guess they could.

If people were interested in this and we got it going fairly soon we could have it finished to launch at Bouchercon in Indianapolis in October - could be a great party.
Sounds like fun, John. Maybe you should start a thread to see if there's enough interest to get it going.
By now it's too mainstream to call Triple Crown self-published, but Vickie Stringer is probably the most successful self-published author.

Here's Triple Crown.

And here's a good article about Vickie Stringer.


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