park gates

Many of my WordPress friends are on hiatus until September — they were nice enough to post something that tells everyone why their blogs are quiet.

I’m not nearly so courteous … I’ve been on an accidental hiatus created by what affects everyone else: family, vacation, start of school …

But something George R.R. Martin recently said, in an interview in The Independent, was too provocative to ignore. It forced me to carve out some time to share it with you, friends. It also made me choose the picture above, which shows us a slightly open gate in a lush green park.

Recently, Call of the Siren started a small dialogue on the issue of traditional publishing vs. self-publishing. The occasion was prompted by a former colleague, Jim Rossi, who has decided to take the self-publishing route for a forthcoming book even though he received an offer from a legitimate publisher. If you missed it, Jim explains why in “Why self-publish? Your book’s a startup company, that’s why” here at the Call.

Coming soon, the Call will provide a brief index of recent articles about the pros and cons of self-publishing that have been percolating during the summer months.

Until then, here’s what Maester Martin had to say about the cons of self-publishing in his interview:

The world is changing, I will admit. I am old enough and now very well established so the changes don’t affect me so much. But with the rise of the internet and self-publishing, we are seeing people who are trying to reach the readers directly and bypass traditional publishing and bypass the editors. It is really too early to tell where that will lead but I am not necessarily sure it will lead to a good place. I do think the function of editors as gatekeepers is a valuable and worthy function – they do save us from reading a lot of crap!

I’m of two minds on this. I get his point; my other reaction is, “Easy for you to say, George!”


  1. I don’t know if self-published is a bad thing, but self-published without anyone overseeing your work or doing an adequate quality check doesn’t do anyone any favors.

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