Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Another year older...--veinglory

Looking back on the year, I notice how few blogs there are reviewing self-published books. Trusty iUniverse Book Reviews is still here. But the others are little snow covered bodies left by the side of the trail. There are in fact fewer of us now than there were at the beginning of the year, or two years ago. It made me wonder just how fine the line is between determination and stupidity. Why, exactly am I doing this at all? At about this time I heard a voice on the radio talking about a self-taught artist living in a small town in New Zealand--and how all the neighbors thought he was crazy. And then the guy on the radio (Stuart Shepherd) said:

"Self taught artists respond to an inner compulsion, or obsession, rather than locating themselves within an existing canon."

I am not a sentimentalist, or artiste driven by an inner muse or perfect genius. I do not blog because I am, but simply because I do--I feel the need to, even if I don't always know why. And there is more to it than stupidity. There is a basic respect for the artist or writer who also finds themselves well off the beaten track, with few or no companions--the isolated, niche, self taught or visionary writer. Self publishing isn't about failing to meet the needs of the mainstream. It is about existing outside that mainstream, however one comes to be there. It is a state that deserves more respect, and more attention--and not just from the neighbors who think any writer less famous than JK Rowling is basically crazy.

Not that I would mind a little more company... just saying....


cheryl anne gardner said...

I was speaking to another book review blog yesterday. They do mainstream as well as Pod. But they expressed some frustration at the number of really bad pod books they get deluged with. They were considering dropping Pod altogether, but they didn't want to leave decent pod authors with no where to turn. I breathed a sight of relief.

I think we have a pretty good screening process here, and I am very pleased with the direction the peeps have taken with the site, Emily in particular.

I don't much care for Iuniverse as that review site does not consider books unless they are published with Iuniverse. But to each his own as far as screening processes go. Got to keep the workload manageable.

Your right, we follow an internal impulse that is not normally driven by commerce or the need to be famous. Those who write from that mindset, whether it's blogging or writing literature, shows through in the quality of the site or material.

So you are not alone Em. Hopefully more will come on board for the passion of it, not for the money or for the ego aspect of being a reviewer, but for the simple reason of helping Pod authors -- which is much more noble. I think.

PubGuy said...

Hello Pod Peeps:

I thought this my be a good opportunity to plug my blog A bit of a clarification first off. I don't really review POD books, but do features on POD authors that can be described as successful in one way or another. I'll mix in an interview with a traditionally-published author for some insight on how they became just that, traditionally published.

I've been doing the blog for over two years now and hope to mix in some opinion pieces and informational pieces in 2008. I'm a former employee of iUniverse and remain close to that company.

I usually post something once or twice a month, but not really on any sort of timetable.

I usually find my subjects through my contacts at iUniverse or by finding some of the more interesting POD bestsellers through's Advanced search (I just type in the publisher name and have it sort by bestsellers).

I enjoy all the POD blogs. The Old POD-DY Mouth site is what really prompted me to start my blog. The new POD-DY Mouth is good also, but not as consistently strong as the old one. I would also encourage people to check out Richard Ridley's blog at Richard is not only an employee of BookSurge, but also an award-winning self-published author himself.

Go Dawgs!

Dan Silvia

Emily Veinglory said...

Thanks, Dan. This is opening up whoke new worlds of blogs!

Click said...

Dear Dan,
This blog is fantastic. Self publishing makes my fingers smile. The more of this sort of publishing the world has, the more diversity, the more beauty, the more smiling fingers.
Macht's gut!