Jane Smith’s How Publishing Really Works is worth a read at the best of times (if you’re interested in publishing, of course), but her five-part demolition of a “self-publishing is the future” screed is particularly delicious. Part five has just gone up; here are parts one, two, three and four.
But the people that you perceive as barriersâ€”agents, editors, publishersâ€”are, in fact, there to help good writers get published well, and to ensure that the reading public has access to good books, professionally produced. Thereâ€™s nothing stopping anyone from putting their work on the internet if they want, or from self-publishing in print or electronic format: the technology has been there for years. The real problem for writers who canâ€™t get published isnâ€™t that barriers to publication exist, but that their writing just isnâ€™t good enough.
In the comments Dan Holloway quibbles with the word “good” – he reckons “saleable” would be better, and I think he’s right; whether it’s good isn’t as important as whether it’ll sell – but you get the idea, I’m sure.