I've been noticing the plethora of small publishing shops springing up; those that charge the author (gasp!) and those that don't, and while I do appreciate the opportunity for all and all to get published, I’m wondering if some of these firms should come with a warning? What really bothers me is those that charge the author for publishing; I have no doubt this has been hashed out before here, and I apologize if I’m beating a dead horse. I only want to say that I applaud, and also differentiate, those small publishing houses that continue to exist and give chances to those great authors the big houses ignore. It seems for the author just starting out, unless you have a serious hook, or something they think will sell, you’re doomed. I’m sure this sounds familiar…nonetheless, I’ve read many excellent books from smaller publishers that give me hope that they are still aiming for the holy grail, while perhaps some of the bigger houses have gone “Brittney Spears.”

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Nah! Someone will make nasty cracks and your colleagues will gossip. Not worth it.
It walks an ethical boundary, that's for sure--though plenty of colleagues in other departments make students buy their textbooks. I suppose I could wait 'til after I'm tenured, and then they can gossip all they want. Assuming I still have a novel or two in print by then...
And they make sure that every other year the same book has just a few small changes so that students have to pay the full price again and can't use used copies.

(This one ended up down a ways from the nasty textbook publishers).
Exactly.
You couldn't be more right, I.J. I actually am very familiar with the college text book industry. It is bad enough that they charge an outrageous amount for textbooks, and the fact that they make a couple of new changes each year and force students to buy the new editions is even more ludicrous. I've heard that some states are trying to make laws against that, and are demanding that either textbooks be changed a certain degree to warrent a new edition, or sell only the exact pages of what they have changed. Either way, though, it seems even those publishers are in financial trouble, as the Thompson takover from Centgage shows. There's only so many dollars out there, and technology and alternate forms of entertainment (new tangent) are making it harder and harder for print publishers to make a buck.
I hate to sound sour, but I heard that Condy Rice got 3.2 million for her memoirs. Don't recall the publisher anddon't know if the dollar count is absolutely correct, but giving this kind of advance, your agent isn't going to sell your debut book to that one any time soon. Hey, I like Condy, but I know as much about her as I want to.
Yes. Non-fiction with a star author sells incredibly well. I have no idea why that should be so. I've never even be tempted to read one of those books from the library.
Yeah, why would you want to read Hillary's or Bill's memoirs? Don't we know too much already? I'm amazed at people who live public lives and still sell big. I think readers of such books think they'll get a tantilizing tidbit that they already don't know. For instance, it must take a whole library section for JFK books. Oh well... I have fun writing, until writer's block sets in.

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