The Corner

Every Man a Publisher

I’m delighted to see that John Miller is sticking it to The Man by self-publishing his new novel, The First Assassin. This kind of thing used to be called a “vanity press” and, as Derb wrote eight years ago when he did the same thing:

The names of the vanity presses are very well known to literary editors, book reviewers and the like, and anything that comes into a newspaper or magazine office from a vanity press gets filed with the crabgrass flyers. Then they put the author’s name into a worldwide publishers’ database with the annotation: NEVER, NEVER HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH THIS PERSON.

Things have changed enormously; just as anyone can now be a reporter, anyone can be a publisher too. The big publishers are going the way of the big record labels. Otis Graham, a retired historian on my board, has done the same in self-publishing his memoir of the immigration-reform movement.

Regarding another aspect of the continuing transformation of the book business, the Post has a front-page piece on the accelerating growth in sales of e-books to be read on Kindle and similar readers. And, whaddya know, my own book happens to be available on Kindle, perfect for holiday gift-giving. (Also available on dead-tree.)