Indie publishing. Still a concept that’s little-known here in South Africa, where I keep explaining to people that somewhere between self-publishing and mainstream publishing there might just be a rich, rewarding and authentic space for them. And quality is what I harp on about. Self-publishing, at its baser self, is that on-the-cheap product that Mom edits and the neighbour’s cousin proofreads and the margins are too small and the type all wrong… Mainstream publishing used to be so good. But now perhaps they can’t afford the best in the business. Those who stick around are too often harassed and stifled and forced to keep hand-winding the conveyer belt.
And somewhere in-between is Independent Publishing: where a business plan and production team are tailored to the product. Professional AND personal all the way.
Which is why Hephaestus Books totally pisses me off.
It’s clearly an automated production line ripping stuff straight off Wikipedia. No editing, nothing. Not even put into any kind of meaningful order. Hell, not even alphabetical order. This is the one I am holding in my hand. It cost US$13.85 on Amazon. No mention of what date it even came off Wikipedia, or who the team is, how the publisher can be contacted, or what criteria determined what was included in the book.
And on the title page, even the country ‘new Zealand’ isn’t spelled with a capital letter.
This kind of publishing is the way to make a very quick buck. This is NOT the future. This is NOT indie publishing. (Please don’t tar us with the same brush.)