Whoa... it is possible? Two blog posts in as many days? Lately, if I'm lucky, I manage two blog posts in a month.
Then again, who am I to argue with inspiration?
I've started this post three times already, and each time, it just didn't seem right. Hopefully the fourth time is the charm. Mostly, what's been on my mind is BookEnds LLC's announcement this week that they are opening an Self-epublishing company. That set off a firestorm of discussion about whether this is a good thing or not, or if it's a conflict of interest to have an agent with a financial stake in a publisher.
Now, there's been a ton of discussion over at Absolute Write (you have to start on page 13) about BookEnds' self-epublishing company, Beyond the Page. And historical romance author Courtney Milan has done two blog posts about about agents acting as publishers (not specifically BookEnds/Beyond the Page, but agents acting as publishers in general. Just for clarification purposes) - the first one is here and the second half is here.
Frankly, I think it's a terrible idea. An agent is supposed to watch out for his/her clients' best interest. How am I supposed to trust that this is actually happening, if the agent stands to make (possibly) more money by steering me toward his/her publishing company instead of a commercial publisher?
Now, remember, I don't have an agent, so I really have no dog in this fight. I've done all right without one (but that's not to say I won't ever try for one, but for now, it's non-issue for me.) That said, I still don't agree with the practice. It seems unethical to me, even if there is nothing legally wrong with it. I don't know that I would be comfortable with it querying that agent (although to be fair, I have no evidence to suggest rejected manuscripts are being steered toward the self-publishing arm. If they were, then that would be wrong. Just. Wrong. Kind of like the Harlequin Horizons/DellArte Press fracas during the winter of 2010.) And if I was one of that agent's authors, I think I'd be equally uncomfortable with the situation as well.
And that leads me to my next rambling. Please, please, please, don't confuse self-publishing with epublishing. They are not the same thing. Not even close. Those authors with well-respected epublishers (such as Samhain) have had enough trouble being seen as "real" writers with "real" publishers. Attitudes regarding epublishing have come a long way, but there is still a bit of a divide amongst authors and associations where epubs are concerned. Self publishing is a completely different animal.
ETA - I just wanted to clarify that epublishing is a method of publishing (like print or POD). You can be commercially published through an epub.And you can be self-published through an epub. But being epubbed does not automatically make you self-published. Yikes, I hope that makes sense. :D
I promise my next post will be on the lighter side. It might even have an LOLcat or two. But even if it doesn't, it won't be a rant.