Thursday 8 March 2012


This blog is a response to an article from the Evening Standard, Friday 2nd March: Self-publishing makes us think we can write by Sebastian Shakespeare. The general gist of the article, and seemingly the opinion of the journalist, is summed up in this quote from the piece: “Perhaps the Government should consider giving carbon credits to those who desist from publishing their life story.”

As a writer currently working on my first novel, the different publishing options for my book are very much on my radar. Once I have finished the writing, self-publishing is one of those options. The article did get me thinking about self-publishing and the potential changes it will bring to the industry, as self-publishing and particularly epublishing continue to become an increasingly viable option to first-time writers.

I regularly review self-published books on this blog and will continue to do so. I know how important reviews and word of mouth, so to speak, can be in promoting a book. But I do wonder whether the ease of self-publishing options and the increasing competitiveness between self-publishing platforms will bring about a decline in standards, as the article suggests.

It does beg the question of where we draw the line in terms of what qualities and standards of work should be considered acceptable for a published book. Will the change to the industry bring about an influx of books that are grammatically unpolished, poorly structured or lacking in sense, style and finesse? And will that have a positive effect on books that are not self-published? I wonder whether the rise of easy epublishing will make the printed books of mainstream publishing houses more revered and possibly even more admired as superior or elite? 

Elloise Hopkins.

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