November 20, 2017

What’s the Problem with Self-Publishing?

The discussion of self-published titles in libraries has increased in recent years, in direct proportion to the angst surrounding ongoing ebook licensing negotiations with major traditional publishers. Prompted by the prospect of limited availability of popular titles or higher prices—probably both—­librarians are understandably weighing alternatives that might satisfy readership demands. There are, however, very real barriers that must be overcome before self-publishing is likely to be even a small component of many collection efforts. Some barriers will fall away naturally as this growing market gains momentum and filters its way into downstream publishing markets like libraries, while others will require a more concerted advocacy effort to overcome.