Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander
by Ann Herendeen
Yeah, so I’m not really all about the bisexual historical romance (“a man in love with his wife and his boyfriend”), but what I am about is when self-publishing serves its purpose, which is to say, it gained an audience and a traditional NY publisher’s attention.
Woman’s got guts and somehow got the attention of people who usually don’t review print-on-demand. Again, it’s something I’ve been seeing for a while now, that POD/self (not necessarily to be confused with vanity/subsidy) is gaining more credibility as the writing community decides to believe in its product and go forth alone. I think as more quality work comes out from the fringes of Traditional Publishing, more of the reading public will begin to pay attention.
As for having been picked up by a traditional NY publisher, I’m not sure I’d’a gone that route once I’d gone through all the trouble to self-pub, but there’s no doubt she’ll get a wider audience for her story and that is, after all, what most writers are after.
What I’m also about are the niche markets that are underserved. Once I heard a story about a taste tester for a fast-food chain and that its choice of BBQ sauce was based on what was least offensive to the most people. Whell. Look on any grocery store shelf and you’ll see that any numbers of taste/heat levels are offered; it’s just a matter of the customer finding which one he likes. On the other hand, if the customer doesn’t like any of them, he’ll just have to go make his own.
Oh, hey, kinda like Joseph Smith, right?
(Speaking of reviews of POD books, I read Mrs. Giggles’ reviews [particularly since her reading taste and mine seem to overlap a bit] [update 2019-09-30: Trojan warning; link removed] and just for fun, did a survey of her average scores of traditionally published books, ebooks from small epresses, and self-published/POD. I included the most current 14 books in each category. Traditionally published books scored an average of 67.5/100, ebooks from mostly Samhain scored an average of 76/100, and self-published/POD scored an average of 71.4/100. There’re a whole buncha hypotheses one could draw from the data I looked at, but it’s kinda fun to let the numbers roll around in your head for a while.)