Monday, September 21, 2009

Self-Published Novels

The number of self-published books seems to be growing exponentially with the advent of POD technology. (Many independent presses have been forced to use print-on-demand technology because of tight budgets, and production values can be excellent.) But most self-published books are poorly written, unedited, and lack any comprehensive marketing plan or system of distribution.

That having been said, there are good self-published titles out there, and some occasionally rise to the top, such as the bestselling The Havanese by Diane Klumb, published by lulu.com. The book was featured in the New York Times and honored by Miss Snark herself! Some are acquired by major houses. The Stoneholding, by James Anderson and Mark Sabanc, was originally self-published and later acquired by Books of Wonder Press in Great Britain.

It’s sometimes a question of luck and being in the right place at the right time. If you've read other pages on this website, you’re aware that cult fiction can emerge from just about anywhere—and by any means.

We must remember that John Grisham initially sold A Time to Kill from the trunk of his car. Many Beat poets and writers got their start in “basement presses” that succeeded against all odds. Ernest Callenbach’s Ecotopia was self-published and was eventually picked up by a major publisher when it became evident that the novel was morphing into a genuine cult book.

Don’t discount all self-published books. A few have considerable merit, and I have no doubt that some of them will eventually attain cult status.

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What Is Cult Fiction?
Is Cult Fiction the Same as Underground Fiction?
Cult Fiction and Genre
Cult Fiction and ON THE ROAD
Cult Fiction and A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES
Moby-Dick: The Ultimate Cult Novel
John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe: Cult Fiction in the Making?
The Next Wave of Cult Fiction
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Self-Published Novels
Understanding the Literary Marketplace
Emerging Writers in the Literary Marketplace
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