Vast internet searches show that there are many ways to publish, get published and be published. I found an interesting publishing concept during my flights around twitter country and Facebook land called Smashwords. It keeps popping up in posts from authors and writers everywhere (and for GOOD reason).
Self publishing is not NEW per say but I can surmise that what Smashwords offers is an excellent deal. Smashwords arrived on the publishing scene in 2008. It publishes e-books and distributes them on a multi-format platform. For one, authors have total control over the publishing, sampling, pricing and marketing of their works. And with Smashwords the work can be published to be read on any e-reading device. It is FREE to publish and distribute works through Smashwords. "Smashwords distributes books to most of the major retailers, including the Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo and the Diesel eBook Store."
An even more impressive component to working with Smashwords is that
85% of net proceeds from book sales go directly to the publisher and author. Most authors know now that traditional publishing houses are shaking in their boots because the profit margin for works is greater with self publishing than with traditional routes. Traditional routes will only allow for 5-10% of the retail price to go to the author while the other 95% goes to retailers, printers, publishers and distributors.
The power of Social Media creates a nice setting for promoting self-published e-works but at the same time creates an undesirable place for Traditional Publisher sales. There are many challenges with this major over haul of the book publishing niche. For one a printed book is more expensive, shelf space is limited at the book shop and publishers have a difficult time predicting the demand for the work ( and how large a print run should be). Basically the life span of the book in a store depends on if it's a hit or not.
You know it's true that there is a lot of written crap out there being self -published but if an author has something worth reading, promoting and marketing, it will be the cream floating on top. And, Smashwords may just be the catalyst to get that book to float.