Self-Published L.A. Author Launches Literary Collective
By Wendy Werris
Publishers Weekly, 9/3/2009 8:39:00 AM
Baum is convinced that literary self-publishing will eventually achieve the same sales results as those of traditional presses. “The vetting system is out of whack in the publishing industry,” said Baum, who also runs the online Self-Publishing Review. “It’s literary writers who are having a tougher time of it in today’s climate, not just reaching an audience, but getting published in the first place. With Backwords, the hook is the writing itself. That’s our strength.”
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Those who have been in the Self-Publishing review game for a while know who Henry Baum is, and may also be familiar with some of the other authors represented by Backword Books. Henry, since the start of his Self-Publishing Review website, has been a rather vocal advocate for Indie authors far and wide, often coming up against opposition that would make many duck and run for cover -- opposition, interestingly enough, that not only comes from Self-Publishing critics but also from within the Indie community itself. Baum's opinion of the self-publishing world is often a hybridized ideal, melding together the anarchy inherent in the Indie world with the affectations of the Traditional Publishing Industry, affectations that some Indies staunchly oppose. So, let's just say, he just has a way of bringing out the best and the worst when it comes to an argument. I suppose the T-shirt offered on the Backword Books site says it all: Fuck 'em if they don't like a gatekeeper. I imagine the implications of that statement don't necessarily sit well with some folks -- Indie Reader comes to mind -- but as we all know, innovation often has casualties. Even still, Mr. Baum's arguments are always well thought out, and his perspective is anything but narrow. I myself have even felt compelled to comment on his site from time to time, which is odd for me, as I tend to be all the about the writing and rarely engage in the "stigma static" that surrounds the term self-publishing.
I have never read Mr. Baum's book, but Chris Gerrib did review North of Sunset here on the peeps a while back. In all honesty, I have not read most of the authors represented by the Backword Books community, and it has nothing to do with the books. My review queue is daunting as it is, and queries take precedence over unsolicited reading material. However, I did review and recommend highly Broken Bulbs by Eddie Wright, so I can safely say that Backword Books has some talented authors, authors who have been reviewed well by other reputable Indie review sites like The LL Book Review and PodBram.
The Peeps wish Mr. Baum and his Backword Books endeavour the best of luck. Congrats on the article, and I know that all serious Indie authors appreciate the advocacy and the voice of reason.
Cheryl Anne Gardner