Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Finally Publishers Weekly to Review Indie Books, But at What Price?

Most of us have heard the August announcement that starting this December Publishers Weekly Select will select the 25 best indie books to review in each new quarterly listing.

It About Time

Self publishing authors have been taking the rogue road in droves for ages now, slowly getting recognition from places like Amazon Encore, being included in a few national best-selling lists, and even people like Obama’s brother and traditional publishing industry’s own employees turning to self-publishing. A Publishing Person Self-Publishes.
Traditional publishers are beginning to listen to bloggers’ books reviews, whether traditional or indie. The list goes on, and we can now addPublishers Weekly to it.
“In recognition of the boom in self-publishing and as an acknowledgment that valuable works are being published outside traditional publishing, PW is giving self-published authors a chance to present their titles to the publishing trade. Call it what you will–self-published, DIY, POD, author-financed, micro-titles, or relationship publishing–the phenomenon is upending the publishing world.” Welcome to PW Select, at Publishers Weekly.
PW President George Slowik Jr. posted The New PW Select: A Quarterly Service for the Self-Published , saying, “We are returning to our earliest roots. PW dates to 1872, when it was first known as Trade Circular Weekly and listed all titles published that week in what was then a nascent industry.
“We have decided to embrace the self-publishing phenomenon in a similar spirit. Call it what you will—self-publishing, DIY, POD, author-financed, relationship publishing, or vanity fare. They are books and that is what PW cares about. And we aim to inform the trade.”
So this December we’ll have in our lil’ author paws the first ever traditional-industry-created list of indie books and PW reviews of “at least” the 25 best. Indie authors with a finished book can register to be listed in the seasonal supplement that will be bound into issues of Publishers Weekly.
Overprints will be available for purchase and a digital edition and online database made available. All titles published during 2010 are eligible for inclusion in the first PW Select this December. “We will also focus on the opportunities that the self-pub world offers. A resource directory will accompany the section offering names of companies providing services in the DIY space.”

Great news but with a price: a processing fee of $149.

The announcement of this fee caused comments ranging from mild to stern disagreement, to tirades against “one of the cheapest and most blatantly idiotic, unethical ploys since…” You get the picture.
How do I see it? I’m signing up as soon as my new how-to book, The Rewritten Word, has a purchase link.
Is this because I’m in full agreement? Not at all. But I must admit it’s one of the cheaper advertising fees I’ve come across. Is it fair to have to pay for inclusion that is free to traditionally published authors? Of course not. Baby steps.
I’ve stuck with and nurtured the indie publishing revolutions this far. I won’t be left out of any of the cracks that open to me. How ‘bout you?
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