I was going to write a post to Thomas Nelson and tell them what a terrible idea I think it is to launch a self-publishing program on the backs of some of the most accomplished and gifted writers in Christian fiction, by naming it after their former fiction imprint. I was going to write and tell them what a betrayal I think it is to not only their authors but their readers. How many casual readers understand imprints? I used to think Westbow WAS a publishing company!! Don't misunderstand, I'm not 100% against self-publishing. I am just very selective about the self-published books I read. I think most readers agree with me. And recycling the name of Westbow, a name associated with heavy hitters like Ted Dekker, Colleen Coble, and Angela Hunt for a group of authors you aren't even willing to take a risk on? Poor taste. If I wasn't a book blogger, if I hadn't learned about publishing companies and imprints I would pick up a Westbow book thinking it was that same great publisher of Ted Dekker. But in reality? That book wouldn't even really be chosen by Thomas Nelson. (If you have no idea what I'm talking about, check out the new Westbow Press website. Westbow Press used to be the fiction imprint of Thomas Nelson)
But instead I want to point you to another model of independent publishing. See, I'm not against the idea of Westbow Press, just really against the name. I am fully in support, though, of the idea of the Rabbit Room Press. And I am fully in support of The Fiddler's Gun...I've become a patron!! Have no idea what I'm talking about? Check out the introduction to the idea of the Rabbit Room Press and its flagship novel. They need your support! And is the cover of The Fiddler's Gun not completely gorgeous???
When I read this from Pete, I was one hundred percent sold:
I’ve devoted so much time to this fictional communion because I believe in these characters and love the stories they have to tell. I believe that they deserve to be known by others, to be cared for, mourned, hated, or loved by readers as they see fit.
I am sure so many authors feel this. But what I love about this approach...is that it relies on a community..and the Rabbit Room is a fabulous community (though they need more female writers) to say hey...we support your art and we want to help you bring it to print. And for that reason alone, I'm really proud to be allowed to be a tiny part of that...to give a little back to one of my favorite blogs and to Pete or A.S. Peterson whose struggles towards publication I've read for awhile. I'll be so excited when my copies of The Fiddler's Gun show up and I can gaze at that gorgeous cover in person. I hope you'll hop over to the website and check out what it's all about.
So when given the choice of what kind of independently published books I'm willing to read, I'd rather read a book brought into print by a supportive community than one brought into print under a misleading name. And that's just the way I am.