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Self-published Authors Taken on by Major Publishers

29 July 2002

There are signs that self-publishing is becoming more of a route to publication by a major publishing house. M J Rose, writing in Wired, comments on the way that self-publishing your own novel may help you to get wider attention. In a sense, it's a bit of a short-cut for the publishers. An author who has successfully sold their book will have already established a readership. The fact that the author has managed to achieve good sales without a publisher's sales and marketing clout behind them is an indication to a major company that it can make their books an even bigger success.

Literay fiction is always tough to sell well though self-publishing, but writers working in fiction genres such as science fiction, romance and erotica have made the breakthrough and it is generally accepted that it is usually easier to self-publish non-fiction than fiction. Author Brandon Massey, whose Thunderland was subsequently picked up by a big publisher, says: 'Self-publishing has become one of the quickest ways to land a book deal. You can almost boil it down to a formula.'

Bulwer-Lytton Prize for Bad Writing

In what must surely be a champion piece of bad writing, Rephah Berg from California has been awarded this year's prize (awarded in memory of the Victorian novelist Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton) for writing such as the following:

'On reflection, Angela perceived that her relationship with Tom had always been rocky, not quite a roller-coaster ride but more like when the toilet-paper roll gets a little quashed so it hangs crooked and every time you pull some off you can hear the rest going bumpity-bumpity in its holder until you go nuts and push it back into shape, a degree of annoyance that Angela had now almost attained.'