In the West, self-publishing is not held in high regard. There is an assumption that those who do it are vain or desperate. That their products are inferior in some way. The rise of e-publishing is changing that and more authors, frustrated by being shut out of “legitimate” publishing avenues, are taking their works directly to readers via the net.
Alisa Valdes is one such author. Angered by what she saw as the mishandling of her chick-lit titles, she decided to experiment with self-publishing. She documents her journey here.
The debate in the West is whether authors even need publishers anymore, and in some ways it mirrors an ongoing debate in Nigeria as well.
In Nigeria, we already have a strong culture of self-publishing. It rose up to fill the gap that was created when many of the nation’s traditional publishing houses crumbled under successive military regimes. Thus, full-service publishers like Cassava Republic Press are finding that they must convince authors that they can do more than the author could do alone.
Publishing is still an expensive business and most authors cannot afford to edit, design, print and distribute their books on the same scale as a publisher could. However, it seems that publishers, both in Nigeria and the West, still have to prove that they are providing a valuable service.