viernes, 22 de febrero de 2008

dos artículos sobre la autopublicación

La autopublicación es un tema que nunca me había interesado mucho pero que a raíz de dos artículos que me encontré esta semana empieza a suscitarme algunas preguntas a las que me referiré en los próximos días. Los artículos en cuestión son los siguientes:

- “borders self-publishing and the idea of vanity”, en el blog if:book

- “self-publish boom challenging old order”, en The Guardian

Sobre la idea de vanidad, la entrada de if:book dice los siguiente:

‘In the realm of print, there is (or traditionally has been) something vain, pretentious, even delusional, in the laying out of cash to simulate a kind of publication that is normally granted, by the forces of economics and cultural arbitration, to a talented or lucky few. Of course, so-called vanity publishing can also come from a pure impulse to get something out into the world that no one is willing to pay for, but generally speaking, it is something we've looked down on. Blogs, MySpace, personal web pages and the like arise out of a different set of socio-economic conditions. The barriers to publication are incredibly low (digital divide notwithstanding), and so authorship online is perceived differently than in print, even if it still arises out of the same basic need to communicate. It feels more like simply taking part in a conversation, participating in a commons. One is not immediately suspicious of the author's credibility in quite the same way as when the self-financed publication is in print’.

Acerca de iniciativas de autopublicación como la de Lulu y Borders, la de Booksurge —comprada hace poco por Amazon—, la de iUniverse, la de Blurb o la de ColdTreePress, el artículo de The Guardian se refiere a los esfuerzos que están haciendo estas empresas para que incluso quienes menos saben de informática puedan gestionar fácilmente desde su ordenador personal la publicación de sus libros y, de esta manera, ampliar su mercado al máximo. Dice el artículo:

‘While self-publish companies stress the ease-of-use of their tools there is no doubt that authors – particularly those older and less computer-savvy – may be intimidated by going it totally alone. This has led to a subset of the self-publishing trend ... the rise in "assisted self-publishing" or "subsidy publishing" from companies such as Ecademy Press and AuthorHouse.

According to self-publish consultant, Mindy Gibbins-Klein, who operates The Book Midwife in St. Albans, Herts, that option could also be a better bet particularly for business people who want to write a book to demonstrate their insider knowledge on a particular subject.

"Using a cooperative publisher also ensures a greater level of quality control. If people are publishing to declare their expertise and raise their credibility in business, they need to make sure their books reflect that," she says.

It is not only business people who want to self-publish. Lulu's Pate says an ageing population, with more money, more life experience and more time on their hands to write will combine with the new and improving technologies to help drive the self-publish business.

"The ubiquitous use of Microsoft Word together with desktop publishing software, digital printing technologies and workflow solutions linked to the internet and "bang, you have got a whole new market that could not exist without each of those pieces together"’.

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