Sunday, 22 February 2009
The Great YWO POD Debate (cont.)
Just when you thought it was safe to look on self-publishing threads this argument shows no sign of going away any time soon. I'm not sure what it is about YWO that brings out the extreme opinions I've seen on writers' boards, but you either love or hate it. Some - mainly editors and industry professionals - can't find a good word to say about it and its founder, Ted. I've seen him vilified and practically tarred and feathered on some sites supposedly because he has fudged the boundary between peer review and publishing, but is that really the reason or is something much deeper the cause of all this vitriol?
Because the vitriol seems out of all proportion to his alleged "crime", if indeed it is a crime to allow people to publish their books for free. I'm not a fan of the scheme and said in an earlier post I doubted whether it would produce adequately edited books, but if someone wants to do it isn't that their business? In a time when books are being squeezed out by other media, shouldn't we all applaud an initiative that produces more of them, even if they only satisfy the author?
I have to say I detect a whiff of paranoid fear in all this hysteria. Publishing is in a state of flux with new technology like Kindle and ipods and POD making the old methods increasingly outdated. Change is always painful. Who knows where it will end? Maybe in twenty years time we'll all laugh at the memory of people going to a bookshop to buy paper books?
And I bet they'll still be arguing about it on Writers' boards.