Self-Publishing & Post Office Blues

The New York Times has an interesting article today about authors self-publishing and how it's eating away at traditional publishers like Random House. There are a number of success stories about authors who self-pubbed and were picked up by a major publisher. One they don't mention is N. Frank Daniels, a former Atlanta writer who self-pubbed his novel Futureproof with Lulu and had it picked up by Harper Perennial. The quote from the NYT piece that chaps my ass is from Lulu CEO Robert Young: "We have easily published the largest collection of bad poetry in the history of mankind," Young said. Yeah, what about all those micro-presses who use Lulu to publish some of the best poetry in the country? I suggest Young take an extra helping of STFU. Those "bad" poets are paying his salary.

Another interesting tidbit in today's news: the United States Post Office is falling on hard times because of economy and the Internet, so they want to cut mail service by a day. If you ask me, there's already some fuckery going on at the PO. I mailed something priority last week and it took six or seven days to arrive, while a package sent to me should have been here in four days and took two weeks. Since postage rates are going up yet again in May, pretty soon it will be just as cheap to use FedEx or UPS. 

The cover concept for Conquering Venus will post on Friday morning. American Idol recap later tonight. Check back soon!


In shipping my O bumper stickers, I have noticed a delay in peeps receiving the stickers. I have to agree that something is already up with the USPS.
Dana said…
"We have easily published the largest collection of bad poetry in the history of mankind."

No way. I can't believe he said that. Jerky move indeed.

And, you said "fuckery." I love that word.
christine said…
I love how your ire peppers this post, with the 'STFU,' and 'fuckery.'

Jo and I are self-publishing Ouroboros, and I know the poems are excellent. The CEO of Lulu needs to learn some manners.
Reb said…
Oooh, that chaps my ass too! I'm writing him a letter.
TIME Magazine (current iss) also has an exact article on self-publishing, talking about how the author of Still Alice (cant remember her name) self-published after mounds of rejections, was selling them from the trunk of her car, and them (poof!) was picked up by a big publisher.
Maggie May said…
i bought the NYT today and read that. psht. and the Updike. and my magazine ( Domino ) folded. and suck.
Tilt Press said…
ooo, the PO can suck it!! They lost a big ass box of chaps from Tilt Press - they are on my shit-list.

And Young just might eat those words one day.

I'm in a bad mood!!!

Emily A. Benton said…
I agree about the PO - that's such a crock of shit, pardon my French. If they would be progressive enough to start using electric or hybrid mail trucks (like some cities use for public transportation) and restructure other outdated Pony Express models for getting mail across the country, they could probably make back all the money back they say their losing.

but I may have a chip on my shoulder about all this, too, because I have such bad luck with mail.

and anyone who's had to work with getting a publication out the door knows what a nightmare it would be for deadlines with only 5-day a week service! on a holiday weekend (and you know the PO takes every holiday it can get!), you'd have to ship on Friday - probably with some premium costs - to get something to a customer by TUESDAY. crazy.
Emily A. Benton said…
^oh dear, my anger took over my grammar up there - haha
January said…
Thank you for using the word "fuckery" to describe the PO. (It's one of my favorite words.)
jessica said…
An "extra helping of SFTU?" That's a scream.

As for the USPO, we don't get our mail but half the time, anyway, and it shows up at night when it does show up.
jaxx said…
uh, what's STFU? i feel so stoopit.

my PO is easily one of the worst in NYC, and i say that having lived in more places, and held more new york PO Boxes, than i can count. they don't deliver mail on saturday as it is, and haven't for years -- every couple of months we'll get token saturday mail.

other than picking up mail at the POB, i never use the post office for anything. i've got a account and i print all my own postage, from stamps to priority labels. haven't had a single problem (though i'm picky about which mailboxes i drop my packages and letters into -- they are NOT all created equal).
Brent Sampson from Outskirts Press wrote something in response to the NY Times article, and you can read it here:


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