Not too long ago, I posted about BookGlutton, a service which allowed for online collaborative reading. You could also upload your own work, but that wasn’t the main focus of the site. Smashwords, on the other hand, is a web site devoted to self-publishing. It doesn’t lend itself to collaboration, necessarily, but it does present another possible method of content delivery, and for web workers looking for another revenue stream, it may provide an avenue for monetizing your content.
For me, it also raises the age-old question: is self-publishing really just a form of vanity publishing, along with all the negative connotations that implies?
It’s a thorny question, and one that takes on new significance as we slowly but surely move away from print media towards online publishing. I went to school for writing, and had it drilled into me pretty much every day that unless it was someone else’s name on the masthead of the journal or press I was publishing with, I wasn’t accomplishing anything.
Online, however, many of the most successful professionals are self-published, and self-made. Darren Rowse, Guy Kawasaki and
Om Malik Richard MacManus come to mind. They are dealing primarily in the medium of the blog, however. The stigma associated with self-publishing doesn’t seem to have entirely disappeared when it comes to books. Read More about Smashwords: Vanity Publishing or Innovative Content Delivery?