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PubIt or Shut It

A few months ago I was at a party and the person I was with introduced me to her friend. "He's a published author," she boasted. The man looked down his nose at me and said, "Anyone can get published these days, what with self publishing and all."

Now despite my badass author photos (thanks Chris Sawicki), I am not a confrontational person. I smiled and looked past the guy for the cheese and crackers. However, the woman with me whose husband owns a large printing company rose to my defense.

"This isn't some low-budget downtown small press," she said. "This is Harper Collins!"

The man raised his eyebrows, took a sip of his gin and tonic, and gave me one of those "what's-the-difference?" expressions. Then, he wandered off, presumably to regale his friends about his new horse or his new BMW or his new wife.

My friend apologized for her friend's comment, but I shrugged it off. It's not the first time I've come across the attitude that anyone can get published and I'm sure it won't be the last. For the record, I applaud anyone who is able to write an entire book: beginning, middle and end. It's a difficult task that somehow seems to get more difficult with each completed book.

And it's true. Anyone can get published. The are dozens of print-on-demand, vanity and self publishing companies out there. All it has required is a few thousand dollars, in some cases many more thousand dollars, and acceptance of the fact that you'll be hand selling the bulk of your copies or ending up with a garage filled with unsold copies.

Until now.

PubIt is a new service being offered by Barnes & Noble to convert your masterpiece to eBook version for free. According to the website, the conversion is simple and the book will be able to be read by "most eReaders and mobile devices." It also gets listed on BN.com.

Yay for you!

So, what's the catch? The catch is that they get some of the money from each sale. I also suspect that going this route will qualify your book as being already published and will close lots of doors in the world of traditional publishing.

I guess that guy at the cocktail party was correct after all. Anyone can get published nowadays. So, go ahead and do it. Publish your eBook. Let me know how that works out for you.

Now before you pounce for my snarky tone, let the record show that I believe there is a place for self pubbing. I've blogged about it before. I'm sure there is a place for PubIt as well. I'm just not sure what it is. I suppose time will tell...

But I will say that it's quite interesting to watch it all unfold!


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