Vanity publishers trade on, well, the vanity of people who feel they have a book within them that just needs to be published, no matter whether a regular publishing house thinks the book would be profitable or not.
I wonder whether vanity publishers are having a harder time these days, now that anyone can publish his or thoughts to the world for free through a blog.
After all, why would someone pay a publisher several thousand dollars to print a few cases of books (which then would need to be distributed and sold), when a blog provides instant worldwide access, with free distribution?
I think this might be another way in which the internet, and particularly Web 2.0, is disrupting the publishing industry. We know what it’s doing to traditional media, such as newspapers like the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Chicago Tribune, and broadcast networks like NBC. The Star Tribune lost 56 percent of its market value in barely 8 years, for instance.
Are those selling the dream of book publication to aspiring authors having a more difficult time these days, too? Are blogs enough of an outlet, so writers don’t feel the need to be published? Or does the experience of writing on a blog whet writers’ appetites to take the next step and paying to have their prose printed and bound? And how does this relate to the trend of authors giving away their books for free on the internet, either in PDF format or as audio files? Have you seen any information on what is happening to vanity press sales?
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