When Will Self-Published Works Be Reviewed in the Mainstream Media?

In Ed's Perspective by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka

As today’s lead story by Anna Lewis explains, self published authors are becoming increasingly sophisticated by the day, particularly when it comes to marketing and promotion. Yet, it seems, while these authors are able to sell and promote their books, they’ve by and large yet to crack what is potentially the largest nut of all: the mainstream media.

There are certainly exceptions — earlier this week on our own comment thread for the story “The Death of Submit-Wait-Pray,” Stacy Miller noted that she’d managed to land a slot on the Rachel Ray show to promote her book 101 Recipes for Microwave Mug Cakes — of course, it doesn’t hurt that Stacy is also a professional book publicist. So, we know it can be done.

During the Austin Agents and Writers Conference last weekend, I sat on a panel about book reviewing where the question was raised to me as well as two other panelists who were editors of book sections, “Why don’t you review self-published books?”

My colleagues answered that it was primarily an issue of “self-preservation,” since there are already so many books coming from the large publishers that were of interest, it was all but impossible to add self-publishing to the mix. “But,” said one book editor, “it is only a matter of time before we’ll have to start doing it.”

Personally, I think of it in terms of dating: When I get a pitch from a self-published author to write about their book it’s the literary equivalent of a stranger trying to pick me up in a bar vs. with traditional publishing, I feel as if the person/book has already been vetted by trusted friends and acquaintances, hence, I’m more likely to give them a try.

What do you think? When will self-published works finally get the attention of the mainstream media? Are we/they missing out on something special — even if it is just a one-night stand?

Let us know what you think in the comments?

Photo courtesy Flickr:  rpb1001

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.